Dr. Dawg

The case of the missing father-in-law [updated/erratum]

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Keep digging.jpg

Finally taking a breather from his furious digging, Peter MacKay and/or his handlers appear to have sent his wife into the pit with a shovel of her own.

Am I denying agency to Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay and falling into a similar hole? Not at all. She’s obviously more than capable of writing and speaking out on her own behalf. But how does one account for this oddity in the body of her open letter to Leah McLaren, first spotted, I think, by Stephen Lautens?

I have often heard Peter speak, publicly and privately, in support of not only female lawyers but women’s issues in general. I believe the fact that he was raised by a single mother (an active feminist for 50 years)…

Wait one. He was also raised by his father, Elmer MacKay—who attended his son and Nazanin’s wedding!

I’m going to assume that Mrs. MacKay didn’t mean “one, not several mothers” and cut to the chase here. You don’t get members of a high-ranking politician’s immediate family going public about said politician all by themselves, unless they’ve broken with him or her. Any public letter will have been a collective effort—directed by political staff, massaged, vetted, re-vetted and finally signed by the supposed author. And somehow this salient detail, as sometimes happens, slipped through the net.

This is no great shocker, of course. Leah McLaren should never have brought family into it in the first place, but by so doing, she created an opportunity that was not to be missed. It was certainly not going to be left up to the spouse of Peter MacKay, however, to write whatever came into her head. What we have in her “open letter” is a political document, not the spontaneous reaction of a loyal partner.

It’s not as though, after all, this sort of ghosting has been unknown in the past. [Via @albertarabbit]

UPDATE: While I still doubt that the “open letter” would have been Ms. MacKay’s unaided response, the “missing father-in-law” smoking gun proves to be nothing of the kind. In fact, as reader Marky Mark notes, Peter MacKay’s mother Macha is not the present Mrs. Elmer MacKay. Macha was divorced from Elmer MacKay in 1973, and did indeed raise Peter and his siblings as a single parent. That will teach me, and I know what I’ll be having for supper tonight.


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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on June 27, 2014 12:40 PM.

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