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COMMENTARY: Should elected officials be nicer?

The Manitoba Conservative government, led by Premier Brian Pallister, still hold a comfortable lead over the NDP according to a new Mainstreet Research poll.
The Manitoba Conservative government, led by Premier Brian Pallister, still hold a comfortable lead over the NDP according to a new Mainstreet Research poll. John Woods / The Canadian Press / File

Over the weekend the Progressive Conservatives of Manitoba held their annual meeting in downtown Winnipeg. All the big names were there and they all spoke to the crowd about the policies that are currently being enacted and how things are going to improve in the way of health care, plus we’ve avoided the dreaded federal carbon tax by coming up with one of our own.

And yada yada yada.

One thing that did get discussed by politicos on social media over the weekend was a joke about the new leader of the opposition Wab Kinew, told by Premier Brian Pallister.

He said, “Esther and I have spent less days in Costa Rica this year than Wab Kinew’s been in custody. NO.” He added, “in caucus” just after the punch line was delivered.

RELATED: ‘It was a dark period in my life’: Wab Kinew addresses former assault, drunk driving charges

Heeeyooooooooooooooooooo (rimshot)

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I think it was funny.

Pallister takes plenty of shots about his vacation time in Costa Rica. He takes plenty of shots about hating Halloween because he was so tall as a kid and could never find a costume that fit. He takes plenty of heat about his “atheist infidels” remark a few Christmases ago still.

All politicians have a past. All politicians say things. Sometimes they say stupid things. Sometimes they do stupid things and as a politician you have to wear those things later. A lot later. Sometimes permanently.

RELATED: Is there a political cost to being politically correct?

Wab Kinew HAS been in custody in the past. This isn’t in dispute. He has answered some of the allegations pointed at him and some he has not except to say “it never happened.”

He’s also written and tweeted some incredibly hurtful and misogynist remarks. He has apologized for those remarks repeatedly. He’ll probably have to keep on apologizing for years to come.

I have no problem with Pallister joking about it. Some people found it distasteful and disrespectful and that Pallister crossed a line.

I think it was funny.

We’re going to have a provincial election in a couple of years and if you think Pallister said something awful this past weekend (in a room full of supporters and party members by the way), just imagine the things that are going to be said when that campaign starts. On both sides.

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I think maybe the old cliché “You can dish it out but you can’t take it” comes to mind here.

RELATED: Most Canadians say political correctness has ‘gone too far’: poll

Nobody is above it or below it. Especially when it comes to politics where very thick skins are required just to be able to read the paper everyday.

The only thing I’d suggest if you’re going to take some shots at the opposition? Make sure they’re good ones!