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Give some credit to Jerry Bance for improving the quality of Conservative public discourse

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Jerry Bance

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It may seem counterintuitive, but Jerry Bance has actually improved the tone of Conservative public discourse in Canada.

Lots of people are having a merry old time on social media with the former Conservative candidate and his cuppa pee, but, personally, I think we ought to thank the guy for raising the tone considerably from what we have come to expect from Conservative politicians in the Metro Toronto area, which as Canada's media capital sets the bar for the rest of the country.

Yeah, I know, #peegate was "trending" for a spell there on Twitter, whatever the heck that's supposed to mean, and even people like NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair were using the opportunity to make little jokes about the Harper Conservatives' love for trickle-down theories about how the economy is supposed to work.

But, seriously, people, isn't this a significant improvement over Rob Ford?

Admit it! I mean, while Bance was captured in a CBC video sting three years ago micturating in a client's teacup when he was supposed to be fixing the plumbing, he wasn't smoking crack cocaine nor was he an addict of crack cocaine. He wasn't in "one of my drunken stupors" and he wasn't making sexually offensive references. By contrast, all those things were part of former Toronto mayor Ford's internationally renowned public repertoire.

Notwithstanding the fact "pee" and "sting" are concepts no one wants to hear in proximity to one another, all Bance really did was make use of an available teacup to deal with an urgent personal need. If it hadn't been for those sneaky busybodies at the CBC, who as the CFIB would tell you have no understanding of the daily challenges faced by small business people, not to mention business people with small bladders, he could have been on his way to a valued career in public life.

Instead, he's watching it all go down the toilet -- where, come to think of it, if it had gone three years ago, everything would be OK now. This is another reason for Conservatives to hate the CBC, which will probably have to pay for it if Prime Minister Stephen Harper manages to get re-elected on Oct. 19.

This story may explain why all through the Labour Day weekend members of the Conservative Perpetual Outrage Brigade were acting as if someone had peed in their cornflakes.

Like Ford, Bance has become an international sensation -- his misadventure, like those of the former mayor, is one of those rare Canadian political stories that has captured the imagination of the international media, this time without giving the impression we're a nation of crackheads. The onomatopoeic PBS network in the United States had it in its news stream it, as did the BBC. The talk show circuit may be next.

So give the man his due. He made a splash for Canada internationally at the same time as he significantly improved the tone of political discourse among Canadian Conservatives. In addition, he has provided a credible argument for those of us who, for hygienic reasons, prefer to drink our Tim Hortons (sic) from a disposable cup. *

What's not to like about this?

I mean, seriously, would Rob Ford have rinsed out the cup?

* The well-known Canadian journalist who left a yellow liquid in my teacup in a Calgary Herald hazing ritual, circa 1973, knows what I am talking about. Later the claim was made it was just apple juice. Regardless, the trauma remains. This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, AlbertaPolitics.ca.

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