Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The conspiracy theory

Popular Liberal MP Dr. Ruby Dhalla has found herself embroiled in controversy after being accused by two former caregivers of working them to the bone, treating them like furniture, and stealing their passports. If the allegations prove to have teeth, Dr. Dhalla - a chiropractor by trade - will not prove to be the first health professional nor the first politician to be undone by their undue sense of entitlement.

The alternative? That these imported hired hands are lying through their teeth. Indeed, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's office has taken an inexplicably heavy hand in smearing Dhalla since the incident erupted, blowing smoke into the air of a Conservative conspiracy...

But before Ruby irrevocably damages her political career - before the verdict is in, and all semblance of imagination is removed from the situation - let me pose to you my conspiracy theory. A hypothesis so wild, so implausibly woven from stories so astonishingly unrelated, that it just might be true.

Picture this. Filipino maids, crying in front of a Parliamentary committee, accusing Ruby Dhalla of being a fascist slave-driver. Off the teleconference cameras, they wipe their smeared make-up away and smile. Yes, those are not tears of anguish, but rather, tears of joy at the prospect of immigration rights, bars of gold-pressed latinum, and reams of dirty porn movies that have been promised them for sullying this opposition MP's good name.

If you think this is implausible, I submit Exhibit A. My aunt once had an incredibly likable Filipino maid. She was polite, cheerful and well-mannered. One day, my aunt found reason to enter this live-in maid's room only to find all manner of pilfered possessions. In fact, not only had the maid been stealing from her employer, but she had been trading with other like-minded maids and had accumulated a stockpile of foreign goods including... you guessed it, reams of dirty porn movies. Mind you, this experience didn't deter my aunt's family from finding a replacement post-haste.

Yet this seems like a ludicrously risky game for the Conservatives. What should happen to them lest they get caught their their hand in the cookie jar? They'd be finished quicker than you can say "Liberal sponsorship scandal." But is there a way to posit this as a win-win scenario?

Picture this. Should the caregivers succeed in the case of Slaves versus Dhalla, the Conservatives would have discredited a formidable figure in the Liberal party and have once again crippled the integrity of an opposition still trying to find its footing after its last major stumble. Meanwhile, if the caregivers should be exposed as lying, conniving opportunists, there would no doubt be a public backlash which might dim the increasingly rowdy voices calling for more stringent nanny rights. In recent months, the government has been hard pressed to explain their regulatory lapses as public awareness of genuine nanny abuse has bubbled to the surface. Such abuses have indeed included nannies being overworked, underpaid, misrepresented, and illegally employed, as well as having their passports confiscated. The public pressure might lighten up, however, if the public was led to believe that these stories are fanciful fabrications.

Would that not suit the small town Conservative ideology just so? Pandering to backwater constituencies where immigrants are viewed as a blight on what was once a nation composed of "true Canadians" - that is, rural Anglo-Saxons, not Native Americans. Constituencies that are busy tipping over Asian fishing boats, beating up old men, and expelling Korean schoolchildren who defend themselves from violent bullies uttering racial profanities at them and smacking them around. Constituencies busy building "firewalls" against the perverse influence emanating from the rest of Canada. In the words of a particularly challenging patient that my peers encountered in the hospital wards, "I mean, I'm an immigrant too, but at least I'm white."

Shocked that such racism could exist in today's enlightened, integrated urban society? I submit Exhibit B. A blog snippet recently outlined a tragic story which occurred in China. One man, identified only as Wang, attempted to break the fall of his suicidal girlfriend who had thrown herself off their apartment balcony. In the process, Wang was killed, though the girlfriend survived. The first readers to register comments on the story opted to ignore the sad tale, and instead amuse themselves by poking fun at Wang's name. These included such obscenities as "poor Wang fell for the 'wong' woman…and the 'wong' woman fell on the Wang man…. [sic]" and "I had a fantasy about a woman falling on Wang but it ended a little differently…"

But hold your horses just a minute! Even if exposing Dhalla's caregivers as Conservative cronies served to discredit the heavily exploited nanny population, wouldn't it still be against the party's best interests to dismantle its own integrity? Not if you could dethrone your putrid leader and scapegoat him in one fell swoop.

Picture this. Harper has set himself up as a one-man-band. His narcissistic face is plastered all over every Conservative website, poster, and policy. He is the Conservative party. Iron-fisted, fascist-leaning, sweater-vest-wearing, true-blue Conservatism. But should he slip - should his party be defeated over, say, a fraudulent-nanny-bribing scandal - out come the knives. Being the only noteworthy Conservative face, he might even be able to absorb all the blame. Not an unattractive prospect given a Prime Minister that has eroded the Canadian democratic system and who has reopened old wounds within his own party over his mistreatment of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

And so our fledgling conspiracy theory takes shape. Caregivers, bribed by all manner of Conservative trickery to turn on their old master Dhalla. Conservatives, drooling at the prospect of driving Ms. Ruby to ruination; yet equally nonplussed by silenced nannies and a Harper coup d'├ętat. It's win-win.


DISCLAIMER: The above theory is sensationalized political commentary and conjecture, and has been assembled for your amusement. It does not claim to be the truth of the matter, nor do I, in reality, hold any presuppositions regarding Dr. Ruby Dhalla's innocence or guilt.

This entry was
adopted by Brutus.