Monday, August 27, 2007

The naked truth

As much as it's a sidebar to the real issue in Skeena-Bulkley Valley, the resurrection of Mayor Smith's nudie pics has initiated some debate among progressives. Posting the picture was tacky, mean-spririted and seriously mining the cheapest of comedy ore... hey, guilty as charged! But to call it an invasion of privacy is a major stretch, and I'm even wondering how much of a sidebar it is or if the pictures do have some context.

Privacy: As chagrined as the Mayor no doubt was to see her nasty bits on display on the internets, you have to ask yourself, if she'd been that concerned about privacy why didn't she conduct the photo shoot behind her own closed doors? Then, in the event that she was dumb enough to leave the pictures on her computer with mischievous kids around, it truly would be an invasion of privacy to publish them. As it is, she was not only in a public place, she was in a taxpayer-funded public place. The taxpayers own everything in that place, including photography. She might have intended it to be private, and she might want the world to assist her in keeping it private (good luck with that), but in fact her personal privacy rights ended at the office door. And given that she's willingly being a party to what is arguably one of the most odious assaults our democracy has ever endured, her infamous pictorial history is fair game.

Context: Smith is the Conservative candidate running in the next election. By naming her the "Go-To Person" for governmental affairs in that riding, the intention is to familiarize the electorate with her. Add to that the pre-election goodies and pork that would be showered on the riding, for which Ms. Smith would take credit, and people would be much more likely to vote for her than if she just, um, campaigned honestly.

Essentially, this is all about the Conservatives knowing they have a weak candidate, a candidate with a (hilarious) past, and attempting to give her a head start, without which she'd probably lose. I'm only guessing, but the pictures might have something to do with that.