9:30 p.m. – Sunday, November 30, 2014
Copyright John Hutchinson
Canada and the United States is currently experiencing a “moral panic”; of woman, making unsubstantiated and untested accusations, behind the anonymity of journalistic privilege. Jian Ghomeshi, host of the CBC Radio One show Q, Bill Crosby, and now a pair of Canadian Parliamentarians are caught up in this feminist frenzy against the principles of justice and due process.
It continues to be rightly asserted in judicial courts, that defendants and judges have the right to know their accuser’s identity and face. One of the arguments against the wearing of the burka and similar clothing on public property in Quebec and elsewhere (e.g. France, Belgium) centered on this judicial principle of an accuser’s right to face his accuser.
However, when it comes to claims of sexual assault, the right to face one’s accusers and examine the particulars of their charges must now chivalrously move aside for female sensitivities and weakness in this supposed age of gender equality. Hereby, the livelihoods and reputations of men are destroyed under Kafkaesque courts of media circuses, while women make accusations behind the nijab of media anonymity.
Having conducted interviews with one of the woman MPs with promises of anonymity, major Canadian media organizations are now handcuffed from exposing her. Yet there exists considerable evidence of incredulity and disdain towards this accuser’s story in their accounts. So while feminists come out of the woodwork to pontificate about sexual harassment and poisoned work environments; and while the Canadian politicos have got their knickers in a twist as result of this rather dull-of-mind MPs connivances; this sexual harassment / assault claim ends up to be just about a squalid affair.
Two NDP MPs complain of having been subject to unwanted sexual advances. I have no interest in exposing the second of these. For, by all reasonable accounts, that story rings true and the victim has been responsible in her approach over the matter. However, the other woman, who claimed that Liberal MP, Massimo Pacetti, had sex with her without explicit consent, despite the fact that she had ample opportunity to leave and had provided the condom, appears to be a woman spurned and scorned by her party and her “friend” and is taking revenge on both.
I have no inside information on the matter. The conclusions reached are based on the piecing together of all public records and reports. But the clues are so ample. It is not rocket science to figure who the complainant is. Indeed, news organizations appear to be begging for someone to make that first move.
The narrative of the revelations begins with this female NDP MP approaching the leader of another party, Liberal Justin Trudeau, on an airport bus toward the October 28 funeral services of soldier, Nathan Cirillo, who was killed in a home-grown terrorist attack on Parliamentary grounds. She reveals the harassment/assault story of another female NDP MP, in order “to help protect a friend” (quotation marks are those of the reporter). There exists no evidence that the fellow MP had actually asked to be helped in this way. NDP officials would later indicate that this other complaint was known to them and they had been attempting to deal with it in a less public fashion, as according to the wishes of the victim.
The complainant also exposed her own traumatic episode to Trudeau about another Liberal MP, Massimo Pacetti. In March, she had gone to Pacetti’s hotel room for drinks at 2 a.m., after an amateur sporting event in which both had participated. In that social meeting, she claimed that Pacetti ‘forcefully’ solicited her. She apparently “froze”, remembering a similar event in her teenage years. She went to the washroom with her purse to consider her options. But instead of fleeing the room, she ‘succumbed’ to his “sex without explicit consent”. She also claims that Pacetti was rather brusque and inconsiderate. She suffered pain in the abdomen and had a hard time sitting down for three days thereafter.
A follow up meeting ensued, two days later, attended by Party whips from both the NDP and Liberal party, the two complainants and another NDP MP, a former law professor, in order to verify the veracity of their accounts. Based on the evidence, given by the more active complainant, the former law professor deemed Pacetti’s actions to constitute sexual assault.
On November 5, without consent of or prior notice given to the two NDP complainants, bulldozing Justin Trudeau publicly blurts out the story and kicks Pacelli and another MP, Scott Andrews, from the Liberal Party. The narrative blows up into a public circus of CYA exercises. The reputations of Pacelli and Andrews irrecoverably suffer, with little prospect of being able to face their accusers or know or defend against the particulars of their accusations.
However, it is later revealed by the more active complainant in an interview with The Huffington Post (November 25), that she had furnished the condom in preparation for this “sex without explicit consent”. And all she wants is for Pacetti to apologize, presumably publicly, and get “behavioural therapy”, (something which became discredited in the late 1970s or early 1980s). This reaction hardly seems traumatic to one, who suffered a sexual humiliation fourty years ago, and haven’t talked to the person since.
There is a principle in contract law that if an employer has been paying an employee a consistent wage rate, despite the lack of a written or witnessed oral contract, that consistency constitutes an unwritten contract. On that basis, furnishing a condom would likewise seem to be the equivalent of explicit consent.
One of the defining attributes of justice is that its principles are understood by all parties and the particulars of its application can be objectively scrutinized. The subjective and inscrutable sentiments and thoughts of one party ought not to be the criteria of consent when the visible manifestations show otherwise. This incident hardly demonstrates sexual harassment or assault between equals.
Massimo Pacetti lives with a wife and two children. It is not only Pacetti who “suffers”, if the accusation proves false. But while the complainant exposes him to disgrace, although ostensibly professing no desire to destroy him, the complainant seeks immunity from similar disgrace behind the burka of media anonymity and privilege.
It is time to expose these self-centered violators of natural justice. Be it true that rapists and inconsiderate Tucker Maxes have abounded throughout history. However, lying and bearing false witness also have long pedigree.
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Fourty female NDP MPs were elected in the 41st Parliament, of which 27 are from Quebec. One of those MPs crossed the floor to the Liberals in 2012. Furthermore, we can insinuate from this statement, although not categorically, that the MP struggles to speak English.
Funeral ceremonies officially began and ended between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on October 28, 2014. Considering flight and bus travel time, it would be hard to believe that any MP in attendance could have made it back to the Commons, prior to 4 p.m., during which, ten of the Francophone NDP MPs spoke on that day. Our pool is now reduced to sixteen.
The complainant and Pacetti had been members of the same sports team for about 18 months up until the incident (September 2012 – March 2014). Three MPs were married in the late spring and summer of 2013. One had a child in the summer of 2014. But two of those MPs have already been included in prior deductions. One MP is physically disabled and had legal problems, which, had it been her, would have likely made Trudeau unresponsive to her plea. In that a legal expert accompanied the MPs in their meeting with party whips on October 30. We can eliminate any remaining MPs with legal expertise. We are now left with a dozen potentials.
The age difference between Massimo Pacetti (52) and some of the youngest members (in the 20s) would make sexual liaisons highly unlikely. This is not an absolute. However, intergenerational, opposite-sex liaisons weirds people out more in this era than same-sex relations. Add this to the fact that Charmaine Borg is assertive, sharp as a whip, very eloquent in English and takes no guff from men, we can eliminate her from the pool
The most revealing clue involves a report that the complainant took a three month leave of absence in the period between March and the meeting with party whips on October 30. Another report also acknowledges a leave of absence, without specifying the duration. It might be argued that all MPs take three month leaves of absences between June and September. However, normal understanding of the phrase insinuates an absence from when actual work is expected.
Between March 1 and October 31, between Parliamentary Votes 72 and 266, there are but six possible candidates, who took leaves of more than a week. Three can be eliminated by virtue of other prior disqualifications. And of those, who could be interpreted as having an extended leave of absence (1-3 months), only two possibly qualify. But one MP spoke at 2:00p.m., on the day of that funeral (October 28, 2014).
So much for the process of elimination.
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An odd statement that the active complainant made (“I don’t want to speak at a school and have a 10-year-old lift his hand up and ask me about this because he read it on the Internet” ) intimates that the MP has a background as a teacher or one with teacher qualifications.
Odder still is that the MP never told her own leader or senior staff about the incident, but preferred to speak to the leader of another party. Evidently, this MP was never part of Mulcair’s inner circle. Indeed, it would turn out that she has been on the outs with Mulcair and the NDP senior staff; having quit the party on August 20; ostensibly over the Israel/Palestine conflict, although having never complained hitherto about that policy, according to Mulcair.
Party officials had been complaining about her attendance record, having missed roughly 90% of all votes in the current session. Consequently, she lost and resented having lost standing in the Women’s Committee.
By both process of elimination and induction, and if press reports are accurate, the NDP MP in question clearly seems to be Sana Hassainia, MP for Verchères—Les Patriotes; born in Tunis, Tunisia; speaker of French, English, Arab and Italian; and a sometime French teacher.
Her ‘closeness’ to Justin Trudeau or Massimo Pacetti may be due to geographical location of their respective constituencies; theirs in East Montreal. Thomas Mulcair represents a riding in Quebec City; Nycole Turmel in Hull. Both Pacetti and Hassainia spoke Italian. Both had also crossed paths as concurrent members of the same Parliamentary Committee between April – September 2012 (Scrutiny of Regulations).
The precipitous decline in attendance followed the birth of her second child in three years, born in June 2013, coincidentally nine months after joining the same sports team with Pacetti.
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Sana Hassainia is also married with two young children, 3 and 1 years of age. It would seem that, in regards to the incident, the worse criticism to be made of this Romeo from Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel is that he is such a lousy lover. That assumes that there exists in fact not much more to the story than that one incident. But why should Hassainia be given immunity to savage her object of scorn, behind her hijab of media anonymity? Why should Hassainia get to victimize Pacetti’s wife twice; not only in participating in the husband’s cuckoldry of his wife, but in exacting upon the wife, public disgrace and familial tumult?
Has this been a vindictive exercise? Perhaps a tad. But I am tired of seeing the burden of proof in these cases, by which men can be imprisoned or socioeconomically devastated, reduced to the inscrutable subjective state or thespian abilities of women. I am tired of demands for equal rights but aversion to the expectation of equal personal responsibility. I am tired of lop-sided justice in criminal (e.g. statutory rape sentences) and family courts. I am tired of North American princesses, who think that everybody must kowtow to their adolescent girl fantasies of reality. I am tired of that gender nationalism, which dwarfs the mind of those who think of themselves as women first and human beings second.
And I am certainly tired and alarmed by a pompous Liberal leader, who inverses the Western heritage of presumption of innocence. (“It must be sensitive to all affected parties, but, recognizing how difficult it is to do so, it must give the benefit of the doubt to those who come forward” ); or the right to a fair hearing instead of this Kafkaesque justice. Although, my political persuasions could be categorized as moderate, moderate right (cultural conservative, but who finds coercive measures futile), the Liberal party keeps sending us snowflakes, who quickly melt into liquid vacuity under the political heat.
Although I could never vote for his party, (the one exception being a civil libertarian protest against the War Measures Act of 1970); Mulcair and his cohorts appear to have acted honourably, even if self-interestedly, against an MP, who seems to have gone off the reservation and is exacting revenge. While, I can understand that we should be compassionate and protective of weaker members of society (and in this, I am speaking more about the less endowed (wealth, mind, wisdom, abilities etc.). On the other hand, one does not serve the common good by allowing Lilliputians to freely exact havoc and tumult over the community. And if one cannot handle a relatively dull personality as Sana, how will one be able to deal with Putin or the strategists in China.