Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Lament

Over at ThePolitic, Matthew Campbell has a post up about the Bryant case, One Tory Willing to Give Bryant a Chance. In it he notes that we don’t have sufficient information to pass judgement on Michael Bryant regarding his collision and altercation with Darcy Allan Sheppard, which resulted in Mr. Sheppard’s death. I didn’t really want to weigh in on this one just yet (though I did in the comments section… but only tangentially). Regardless of who was at fault, it appears that numerous lives have been tragically altered (not the least of which being those of Mr. Sheppard’s four children).

I do have another little tangential comment to make, this time regarding the title of the blog post. First, let it be known that I am neither a Tory nor a Liberal (nor would I be considered a tory or a liberal). These days, I keep myself a little more separate from political parties. I don’t claim to be non-partisan or non-ideological; I just try not to get too personally invested in the fates of political parties.

The title of Matthew’s post gives me pause. It is inescapable that an incident with a prominent political figure will have some sort of political or partisan implications. People are too emotionally involved in their particular party affiliations for it not to be. First, I should congratulate Matthew on getting past partisan bickering and not judging Mr. Bryant along party lines. Especially in a case such as this, to do otherwise would be a ludicrous affront to human dignity. Still, there it is in the title of the blog post, “Tory”.

I’m going to give Matthew the benefit of the doubt. I am assuming that he put it in the title not because he would be naturally inclined to think that a member of the Liberal Party is, inherently, “the bad guy” in everything he or she does, but because he is acutely aware that many other people (and many people reading a political blog) will assume that people will allow partisanship to colour their judgement of someone like Mr. Bryant.

It’s a pretty sad phenomenon that the violent death of a man has to be explicitly analyzed in a non-partisan manner. We should know that somethings outweigh scoring petty political points.

And we should be able to trust that the rest of us know that as well.

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