Friday, March 14, 2008

Ho, No!

OK, I'd like to take credit for the title of this post but I can't. The New York Post ran it as its headline the day that the Eliot Spitzer scandal broke. It really says it all, doesn't it?

In the interest of full disclosure, I should make it clear that I've always hated Eliot Spitzer. There was just something incredibly off putting about his self-righteous, tendentious zealotry when he was Attorney General. I also find his beady eyes very creepy. Here's a picture of Eliot owning up to his dalliance with "Kristen":

From friends of friends that know Eliot Spitzer or used to work with him, I understand that he likes to pepper his conversation with "f-bombs" (he is famously on the record referring to himself as a "f*cking steamroller"). Well, if there was a little thought bubble above Eliot's head, what would it say? I'm betting something like, "F*ck. This is one f*cked up f*cking cluster-f*ck of a f*ck-fest. F*ck, f*ck, f*ckitty f*ck. F*************ck."

It's interesting how so many American politicians get caught up in sex scandals. Idaho Senator Larry Craig and his shenanigans in the men's room at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, Jim McGreevey and the sordid little saga that culminated in his "I am a gay American" declaration and the whole suspicious Gary Condit/Chandra Levy matter all come to mind. And, of course, let's not forget that granddaddy of sexual imbroglios--Bill Clinton's extra-curricular activities with Monica Lewinsky.

I wanted to compare these scandals with some recent sexual misconduct by Canadian politicians. However, all the Canadian scandals that I could think of seemed to involve money. I was thinking of the nefarious dealings between Brian Mulroney and Karlheinz Schreiber, "Shawinigate" involving dubious real estate dealings by Jean Chretien and the recent "Sponsorgate" controversy. I did a little on-line research and came across an article by Jim Coyle of The Toronto Star confirming the dearth of sex scandals involving Canadian politicians (you can read the article here

How do I explain this? I think it has something to do with the fact that American politicians are either rich before they get into politics (Eliot Spitzer's father is a zillionaire real estate developer) or expect to get rich after they leave the political arena by writing a memoir and lecturing (in the case of presidents, senior senators and governors of big states) or joining a high-priced lobbying firm (in the case of everybody else). With the exception of guys like Paul Martin, Canadian politicians have less money when they get into politics and the relatively small size of the Canadian market and more limited opportunities make it less likely that they'll be able to jump on the gravy train when their political careers are over. Thus, to Canadian politicians, money is a more likely corrupting influence.

Just a theory from the Star-Spangled Canuck.

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