By now you may have caught wind of a social media firestorm surrounding newly minted BC Liberal candidate Randy Rinaldo, who came under fire for a series of offensive tweets.
One laid the blame for child poverty on bad parenting, while another accused Roma people of being thieves and rapists.
Today, Rinaldo apologized on Twitter.
Look, I have Twitter, and I say stuff that might bother people. .
Sometimes we regret those things, sometimes we say them because we mean them
Rinaldo knows that if you get into politics people are going to scrutinize you.
He says he should have known the pitfalls of social media… that part I’m not buying. He knew that already.
Look he’s entitled ot his opinion, regardless of whether you think it’s hateful.
But on the other side of it, we’re just as entitled to criticize his opinion.
That’s the game.
When you get into politics, everyone on the other side is going to try and bring you down, and it just so happened with Randy there was a couple of tweets people could point to.
And he wants to be a politician which means he has to answer to that – which he did today.
Next year Randy will run as the candidate in Burnaby-Lougheed.
So let’s throw our minds back to April of 2013. That year, Jane Shin ran for the NDP and won – she’s still their MLA.
And guess what she did 11 years before that? She went on gaming forum and called Chinese people “Chinkasauruses.”
Now the NDP back then had to defend what she had to say.
The Vancouver Sun at the time wrote “the party is standing by Shin in an election that has already seen candidates from three of the four main political parties resign or get turfed because of personal problems or controversial comments.”
We saw plenty of these. Dalene Van Riswick ran for the NDP that year and she also said some inappropriate things about aboriginals and French speaking people.
So this isn’t just a BC Liberal problem, everybody does this.
The takeaway? If you are going to run for political office, your opponents, in their strategies to make sure you don’t win that seat will find stuff on you. They have people that will go back through your entire twitter stream.
Over the line?
I think it’s safe to say I will never run for political office.
Randy – back in 2012, had tweeted about a sex offender that had been released.
He said “someone run this guy over, no one will mind, Canadian sex tourist Donald Baker to be released today.”
A lot of people thought that inappropriate, where he’s just speaking from the heart.
Now I know a lot of people will find that inappropriate, particularly with the threat of violence.
But that’s a Tweet where I would imagine there’s many people that probably have the same opinion. I don’t know Donald Baker’s story, so I won’t comment on it, but that’s his opinion and he’s entitled to it.
I have in passing made comments like that on Twitter – in fact my boss actually brought it up to me a few months ago. It was from a few years ago, where it was some silly criminal or someone doing something bad and I went “oh, this guy needs a punch to the throat.”
And I was saying it in just a throw away fun fashion.
But that is considered a threat of violence.
So I can understand what Randy’s going through, he’s said some stuff that’s coming back to bite him in the ass.
He said it doesn’t reflect the person he is today…
And you know, however you decide to vote, if you live in that riding, you can either take that at face value or just not vote for him.
It’s totally up to you.