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Monday, April 19, 2004

Apologies matter 

I have seen and heard several comments like this one -- Calgary Sun Columnist - Ezra Levant: Don't cry for Svend -- in the last several days. Not only dissing Svend and his apology, they also take the opportunity to slam "the liberal press" for supporting him. Levant compares the sympathy for Svend with the media's "contemptuous glee upon discovering Reform MP Jack Ramsay's criminal charges, or upon learning of George W. Bush's 20-year-old drunk driving charge."
The differences, folks, are two:
First, Svend stepped up -- he called a press conference and admitted his guilt and apologized, before the RCMP could bring any charges. Now, he may have been only hours ahead of them, but he admitted what he did it all the same, and didn't wait for a charge and a media circus and a trial before starting to talk about stress. Ramsay never admitted any guilt (though, in fact, there is plenty of reasonable doubt in this case, but it was the prosecutor's decision to lay charges, not the media) and Bush certainly has not been particularly straightforward about his past or present mistakes.
Second, Svend has never pretended to be a poster boy for "Christian values", the kind of politician who parades himself as God's avenger on Earth against all corruption, lewedness, pornography, thievery, fornication, etc. Both the Alliance here and the Republicans in the US have deliberately adopted this persona, and they have used their so-called moral purity to convince sincere Christians to vote for them. So when one of their poster boys screws up, its news.

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