Friday, April 04, 2008

The Tom Lukiwski Affair

I will confess that as a younger man, I was slightly homophobic. Part of this was basic ignorance - and part was certainly cultural and generational.

My opinion changed in the ensuing years, as I came to realise that homosexuality has been with us since the dawn of mankind. One can have an opinion on the matter one way or the other, but the fact remains that it has always been part of the human condition.

What people choose to do with their genitalia is really none of my business, as long as they are not knowingly spreading disease, applying coercion, or ignoring the obvious guideline of "conscious and fully-informed consent" in the procurement of sexual gratification.

Tom Lukiwski was an adult when he made his statements on the issue that he is now being roasted for; as well, he allowed the diatribe to be videotaped - and then kept the tape as a memento.

Tom Lukiwski's error here was not that he once retained a now-unpopular opinion on such matters; his error was an error in judgment. He can deny that he is currently a homophobe all he wants, but the question that begs asking is this: Why did he keep the tape? What kind of judgment does this show? What does this say about the man?

In the not-too-distant past of the US South, members of the KKK would take photographs of the lynchings of black men to keep as souvenirs. Some of these were turned into postcards and sold at Petrol Stations and Diners across the US South-East.

Does Tom's behaviour not seem somewhat derivative of this?

Edmund Burke wrote is his famous "Speech to the Electors of Bristol" in 1774 that as a Member of Parliament ...

"Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion."

Normally, I trot this gem out as a means of pointing-out the we live in a "representative democracy," and not a "delegational democracy."

Today however, I make the point that - for an MP - the clear and consistent application of good judgment is paramount to retaining the confidence of the electorate.

Lukiwski's error was not in once holding an opinion on homosexuality that he now may or may not hold; rather, his error in this matter is one of exercising incredibly poor judgment in letting it be taped, and then in retaining it as some sort of keepsake.

The extension of civil rights to homosexuals is akin to the emancipation of people of colour in the United States, or the extension of Voting Rights to Aboriginals in Canada. It is not debatable anymore - it is the Law of the Land.

This man is guilty of poor judgment; as such he has lost the moral authority to exercise his judgment on behalf of the people of Regina Lumsden Lake-Centre.

He should resign - immediately. Honour demands no less.


Update the 1st: A wise reader pointed to the fact that Lukiwski's statements are hate speech. To this I say: "I agree." That just serves to bolster my point: that this MP is sorely lacking in judgment, and that his continued presence in the House of Commons brings disrepute to that body.


Update the 2nd: So, Lukiwksi did not retain the tape, but some idiots in the CPC/Saskatchewan Party Office did. What's the difference? Lukiwski was 41 years old at the time and occupying an Executive position in the Progressive Conservative Party. He should have known better than to voice such offensive crap for the benefit of posterity. "Once committed, forever admitted." Just like Blogs.