|The location of Layton's "shiatsu"|
That's what NDP leader Jack Layton had to say about the Velvet Touch
The "Masturgate" issue for Layton, as far as I'm concerned, is not about whether or not Layton was manually or orally pleasured in a bawdy house 15 years ago. If he was, I don't care. I'd make fun about him for it becoming public fodder, but I do not believe that it should disqualify someone from being Prime Minister of Canada. If every sexual peccadillo were grounds to eliminate someone from the political sphere, we'd be left with a very sorry offering of leaders (maybe that explains the current state of politics in this country).
Layton's handling of the matter, now that it's become news, is the issue. It gives us some insight into how a Prime Minister Layton would deal with a crisis, and that picture isn't nearly as pretty as an Asian erotic masseuse.
What have we learned about Layton from all of this:
1. Collapses under pressure
A smart leader would have said, "I didn't do anything wrong, I didn't commit a crime nor was I ever charged with one. This is just desperation on the part of my opponents, and you can tell how desperate they are. I'm not going to talk about this anymore; I'm sticking to the real issues of the election." and left it at that. He should have refused to say anything more about it. Instead, he panics, and keeps blathering idiotic, unlikely nonsense that makes him look foolish at best and guilty and foolish at worst.
If Layton crumbles like this when dealing with a minor public relations blip, what kind of ineptitude could we expect from him in the face of a real crisis were he to be Prime Minister? The result could be catastrophic.
2 Can't keep his mouth shut
There's a time to talk and a time to shut up.
Though Layton is not a religious man, he would have done well to have listened to the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 18, Verse 28:
"Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise, and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."Invariably, politicians get in trouble for what they do say, not for what they don't say. Layton doesn't have the basic wisdom or understanding of that simple rule, which does not suggest he will make a good leader.
At the time of the incident, Layton was a long-serving downtown Toronto councillor. He claims he didn't see anything sketchy about the Velvet Touch Massage Parlour, which Layton now refers to as a "community clinic" on the second floor of a shady facade of a seedy area in Toronto's Chinatown. According to reports, the place has a coded red light/green light system to indicate when police were coming up the stairs. For his "therapeutic massage" Mr. Layton was found totally nude by police.
Layton's answers raise more questions about his competence and judgement than staying silent would have.
3. Layton is incapable of not making himself look like an idiot over a minor matter
Mr. Layton is a very intelligent individual, who had lived in the downtown core for a long time. If he is telling the truth, Layton is saying that he lacked the savvy that just about every other resident of downtown Toronto has.
What is Layton's spin? That he's the kind of guy who couldn't even get laid in a whorehouse? It's doubtful that would be a particularly encouraging message to voters doubtful about whether he would be a strong Prime Minister.
Frankly, I'd rather have a Prime Minister who isn't stupid and got a hand job than one who is stupid and didn't. In either case, Mr. Layton has babbled himself into a position where he would have us believe he was stupid. That's not how a competent leader does things.
One sign of the times is the CBC radio news report I heard this morning. Usually, they try to picture Stephen Harper in the worst possible light, while portraying Layton as a leader. They must have had a whiff of the way the winds are blowing, because this morning the report had Harper sounding Prime Ministerial with a report about how Liberals who want sound economic policies will find the Conservatives the best choice this election. The report about Layton was all about the (alleged) hand job.
If you're a socialist that the CBC has bailed on, you've got to know you're in trouble.
UPDATE: Just in - The Toronto Star shows a poll that says Tories may be headed for a majority. And as will come as a surprise to no one, the NDP has the least committed voters.