One of the things I love most about Canadian politics is that it's not personal. Political allegiance in Canada is fleeting and amorphous and average people do an excellent job of remaining civil when discussing politics. Also, the personal lives of Canadian politicians are respected and ignored. In the nineties it was common knowledge that the adult child of a high-profile Canadian politician was frequently in trouble with the law. Other politicians and the media did not use this to discredit the politician. Can you imagine the same thing happening in the US? No, me neither.
I am a liberal and have no great affection for current Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, or his wife Laureen. Because I mentioned Mrs Harper in several insolent posts, people now visit my blog seeking gossip about an online rumour that Mrs Harper is/was having an affair or relationship with a female RCMP officer.
Let me be 100% clear on four points:
1. I do not have any information about the Harper marriage, nor do I wish to get involved in the spreading of this gossip.
2. Coming out of the closet isn't a spectator sport. If you aren't sleeping with Person X, then you have no right to know the sexual orientation of Person X, even if that person is married to a politician you dislike.
3. Speculating on a person's sexual orientation -- regardless of her place or your place on the political spectrum -- perpetuates the social stigma associated with homosexuality.
4. You might be surprised that Harper -- who once upon a time pissed me off with his talk of restoring the traditional definition of marriage -- now advocates internationally for gay rights. Shhh...don't tell anyone in rural Alberta, they're gonna be pissed.