The 2011 Wet Tissue Election

Sadly, this is all people will be talking about over the final 3 days of the campaign:

TORONTO – Jack Layton was found laying naked on a bed by Toronto Police at a suspected Chinatown bawdy house in 1996, a retired Toronto police officer told the Toronto Sun.

The stunning revelation about the current leader of the New Democratic Party comes days before the federal election at a time when his popularity is soaring.

When the policeman and his partner walked into a second-floor room at the Toronto massage parlour, they saw an attractive 5-foot-10 Asian woman who was in her mid-20s and the married, then-Metro councillor, lying on his back in bed.

I can think of many reasons to not vote NDP, but this isn’t one of them. And I think most voters will agree.

At the start of the campaign, this might have subconsciously made voters think twice. After all, the optics certainly aren’t good for Layton, and it does speak to his character. But no one is going to change their mind over this now. We saw this in Toronto’s mayoral campaign last year, when revelations about Rob Ford’s past were just shrugged off by his supporters – and may have even made him more popular. We saw it with Bill Clinton in the 90s.

Like Clinton, Layton may also benefit from being seen as the victim. When a 15 year old story surfaces 3 days before E-Day at a time when the NDP is surging – and is broken by a media chain with a reputation as a right wing attack dog, it’s going to rub a lot of people the wrong way (no pun intended). As Andrew Coyne tweeted, “I’d rather be caught naked in a massage parlour than fully clothed working for SunNews“.

Layton hasn’t lied, there hasn’t been a coverup. In fact, being attacked on this plays right into Layton’s message of rising above the “smear tactics” that plague Canadian politics.

So, yes, Layton may still get his happy ending after all on Monday.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in 2011 Federal Election, Federal Politics

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at and online at the National Post.

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