In a #metoo measurement where Harvey Weinstein is a 10, Patrick Brown is a 1. But no matter the level of their past proclivities, the number of Canadian politicians who have fallen from grace because of alleged sexual misconduct has risen to three in recent days. They include Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Brown, Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative leader Jaimie Baillie, and federal Liberal Sports Minister Kent Hehr.
In addition to the immediate repercussions, such news will have a lasting impact beyond getting men to clean up their act. It’s already hard enough to get good men to run for office. The comparison of past politicians with today’s is odious. The problem had been that people didn’t want to take a reduced salary or put themselves in the public eye. Finance Minister Bill Morneau is an example of the sort of successful, public-spirited private-sector candidate who should run. But who would want to follow his example after the conflict botch over his previous investments?
Now, any man about whom there is the slightest whisper of stupid, rude or worse sexual behaviour in the past is likely to be outed. That’s a high bar for any hopeful male politician. The upside of all this is that more women will run with the likelihood of increasing their representation in various legislative chambers. The Ontario PCs, for example, would do well to choose a female leader from the several possibilities that exist.
To have a world run by women might not be a bad idea. These days, what man in his right mind would say them nay.