HARPER/OBAMA AGREE WITH MISCHA POPOFF; BC CONSERVATIVES SAY ‘SORRY’
Monday, May 27, 2013 – Does the truth change depending on who says it?
That’s what Mischa Popoff, the former BC Conservative candidate in Boundary-Similkameen is asking himself today.
You’ll remember he was ‘fired’ by the BC Conservatives for making statements about the missing women inquiry and single mothers the party found “insensitive and disrespectful.”
What he actually said was the inquiry was a waste of time and that two-parent families do better than single mothers.
Fast forward to May 24, 2013 when The McLaughlin Group ran a clip of President Obama from a speech he made on May 19 in which he spoke on the problem of missing fathers.
“I was raised by a heroic single mom, wonderful grandparents who made incredible sacrifices for me, but I sure wish I had had a father who was not only present, but involved. (I) didn’t know my dad. I want to break that cycle . . . where a father is not at home; where a father is not helping to raise that son or daughter. I want to be a better father.”
So here, after the BC election we had the President of the United States saying he wants to break the cycle of single mothers raising children by themselves.
This is exactly what Popoff said.
Apparently it’s OK for the leader of the Free World to criticize single-parent families, but not for a candidate in a B.C. election.
Let’s move on to the other statement the party found objectionable.
On May 16, Prime Minister Harper was in New York. During a question-and-answer session hosted by the Council for Foreign Relations, he was asked by a member of Human Rights Watch about the prospects of a federal inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.
“I remain very skeptical of commissions of inquiry generally. My experience has been they almost always run way over time, way over budget, and often the recommendations prove to be of limited utility,” he replied.
Again, this was exactly Popoff’s point; these inquiries are worse than useless at solving the problem.
However, instead of the media commenting on the argument he was making, they joined in a chorus agreeing with the party that it was disrespectful.
And what of the party itself?
It turns out the campaign manager who fired Popoff, Jeff Bridge, now says he “goofed” when firing Popoff in mid-campaign.
Jon Ferry reported in the Vancouver Province May 27 that Bridge says he erred in firing Popoff over remarks he made about single moms.
“The comments that he made, although I disagreed with what he said, were already fit to print in a Kelowna daily newspaper. If they were good enough for that family newspaper to run, then they should have been good enough for me.”
Even this half-hearted apology doesn’t do justice to the issue.
Is Bridge saying he prefers to see children raised by single mothers? If so, he should speak to the President of the United States who, having had the experience himself, doesn’t agree.
What should we take from this extraordinary series of events?
A journalist gathers together what he thinks are damning quotes from a candidate; the party agrees and fires the candidate, and the media just runs along like a pack of dogs barking the same cry.
No one took any time to look at the issue seriously. No one was prepared to debate the facts. No one except Mischa Popoff.
And now no one will bring these issues up in the Provincial legislature.
Maybe next time reporters should do some analysis of a candidate’s remarks. Maybe next time a political party should stand behind its candidate on matters of fact and principle.
It would make a change from what happened this time.
Released by Frank Hilliard
Campaign Manager, Mischa Popoff Campaign