|Opposition Leader, Brian Pallister|
Some media outlets have questioned how the wealthy PC leader can relate to the middle-class when he lives in the lap of luxury. A valid question perhaps, but not one that warrants two days worth of media coverage and a press conference.
It’s foolish. If anything, Pallister’s purchase warranted a brief at most. Even that is pushing it though.
While I understand all too well how challenging a slow news day can be, I don’t understand how this is news.
Bottom line: PC Leader Brian Pallister bought an expensive home. He’s well off, wealthy even. Good for him. He worked hard and was able to purchase this home. Is this relatable to most of us? Probably not, but neither are many aspects of his life I’m sure.
At the risk of sounding simplistic or whimsical, I beg the question: How can we criticize somebody for working hard, earning money, and buying a home for their family; even if it is an extravagant $2-million mansion? Isn’t he, like the rest of us, entitled to spend his money the way he sees fit? Sure he’s a politician. Sure we, as citizens, are entitled to form opinions about him given the public role he has cast himself in. Sure, I’ll even give the article merit in the fact that some people will see this purchase as something that they can’t relate to, and it may very well affect their vote in the next election.
What I can’t agree with however, is the fact that the media is criticizing his success. Many of us strive for success in various aspects of life. Owning an extravagant home is clearly one of those successes that the Pallister family has strived for and achieved. We should applaud that.
What I do find disappointing is that Pallister felt the need to publicly defend himself by calling a press conference to discuss his modest upbringing and explain the chain of events that led to his success and wealth. Though I can see why he would want to jump to his own defense, inviting the media to hear him explain himself when he’s done nothing wrong is just perpetuating the story. It’s a move that makes me wonder how he will handle the next election and the slurry of backlash he is likely to get from the opposing parties, especially if the next election is anything like the aggressive battle between Greg Selinger and Hugh McFadyen in 2011.
I should note that I am not PC. I have never voted for the Conservative Party, and I can’t see myself doing so in future. Perhaps that will change one day, but I doubt it. I just feel like there are far more important things happening in our community than this. With newsrooms running on scarce resources, I am frustrated with the attention this non-story got.