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Critics too quick to pile on Drever

May 9, 2015

 

(Opinion column)

 

As the sun rose on Alberta's first full day of NDP rule this week, Calgary-Bow MLA-designate Deborah Drever was about to get her first, harsh lesson in dirty politics.

 

Persons-unknown — she claims frustrated PC supporters unhappy with the prospect of God-knows-how-many-years of NDP governance — made several screen captures of Drever’s unwisely wide-open Facebook page and started hitting the ‘send’ button.

 

Welcome to the jungle, Debbie.

 

It didn’t take long for the photos to explode locally on social media sites, the

most notorious of which was a five-year-old shot of an unidentified hand flipping off the Canadian flag, causing many mouths in the Twittersphere to foam unabated.

 

While one would suggest offering the one-fingered salute to our flag — recognized proudly around the world as a symbol of freedom and togetherness — as the very definition of a political faux pas, it wasn’t the only image critics took pot shots at.

 

One photo featured Drever sporting an empty box of beer on her head, while another had her crouching next to a sweatshirt emblazoned with a marijuana leaf and the words ‘MAGIC WEED.’

Critics on Twitter also, for some reason, took aim at a mirror selfie of Drever wearing a rather unremarkable one-piece bathing suit.

 

Overt shaming attempt aside, the uncomfortable question remains — do these photos compare to the years of scandal the outgoing PC government left in its wake?

 

Does ‘Boxhead’ come close to ‘Skypalace?’

 

Sure, Drever’s situation suggests poor judgment, but that seldom translates into ill intent.

 

Few politicians find themselves embroiled in scandal due to one poor decision.

 

Accompanying the photos were copies of Drever’s decidedly sparse resume, leading many Internet commentators to conclude the 26-year-old university student isn’t qualified to hold public office — prompting at least one disgruntled Calgarian to start a petition to have her election win annulled.

 

What?

 

A democracy means being governed by the people.

 

No ruling class, no hereditary lines.

 

Alleging somebody isn’t ‘qualified’ to hold office because their body of experience consisted of twirling dough at a Kensington pizzeria instead of making partner at a downtown law firm reeks of the sort of elitism we’ve been fed up seeing in the Tories.

 

Besides, if the hands at the helm of our province are examples of ‘professional politicians,’ maybe a few fresh faces aren’t exactly a bad thing.

 

 

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