The light side of a tight situation

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Pat Martin was a carpenter and trade unionist before being elected to the House of Commons in 1997. (2009 photo from Wikipedia, Creative Commons.)

Sometimes politics rivals fiction. At best, this generates news stories that are far more fun than the usual partisan bickering.

Pat Martin is a Member of Parliament who represents Winnipeg Centre for the New Democratic Party. Martin left his seat during a vote on Thursday, which is frowned upon. A question was raised as to the validity of a vote cast that way, which prompted an unusual explanation. (Be sure to watch the MPs beside and behind Martin as he justifies his behavior.)

Was it a case of a pressing wedge issue? Or a quick-witted use of “does anyone really want to go there?” humor to deflate a potential problem? Either way, it worked well enough to save his vote.

CBC collected relevant Tweets, including this quip “…our official opposition. They can’t pick underwear, why should we let them run the country?”

Discussing the incident afterwards, NDP leader Tom Mulcair told CTV’s Don Martin he was laughing so hard he was having trouble breathing.

The best excuses are, at least, plausible. The press wasted little time in fact-checking this one, as can be seen in this from the National Post:

Although Mr. Martin’s tale would appear to be a tongue-in-cheek ruse to fend off a nitpicking inquiry from the government benches, the Ottawa location of the Hudson’s Bay Company is indeed holding a 50% off sale for men’s underwear.

All across Canada, in fact, the department store is hosting a “buy one get one 50% off” sale on various styles of Jockey-brand boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs and even “men’s no fly bikini” briefs.

Depending on store location, the undergarments are generally available in sizes ranging from small to extra large.

A nimble (if cheeky) display of of quick thinking.

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