Saturday, April 14, 2007

Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Integrity Grinding Mayor and Sidekick

The mayor is calling on Councillor Bob Bratina to apologize for hurling his pen across council chambers — just the latest incident of crumbling council decorum.

Tirades, threats and toe-to-toe confrontations have become almost a daily occurrence at City Hall over the past few weeks. There’s fear among councillors that the behaviour is so out of control it’s getting in the way of decision making.

Tensions peaked at Wednesday night’s televised council meeting when Bratina threw his pen across the room, narrowly missing Brian McHattie’s head. He was upset that the mayor signalled for him to wrap up a speech. He then walked out of the room.
“It’s inappropriate,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who asked Bratina to apologize on Thursday. “He agreed.”

On Friday, Bratina apologized for his pen chuck at a budget meeting. He explained he thought the mayor was laughing at him when he was trying to make a speech. He also said he regrets his vulgar outburst at Councillor Lloyd Ferguson and will voluntarily give up $1000 pay to a charity as a self-sanction. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)

COMMENTARY

Some context to any out-of-towners wanting to know about this curious cartoon…

A week ago I wrote about the entertainment aspect of legislative debate that is essential to liven up the tediousness of the democratic process. To those who earnestly express their outrage against humorous political ads or forceful blows during question period, I say, lighten up.

So Hamilton City Council was the stage this week for a split second of action that made some headlines in the Hamilton Spectator. Events turned sour after Councillor Bob Bratina was rambling on about something during council proceedings when Mayor Eisenberger interjected to speed things up. The resulting hissy fit from the smooth talking morning man /  city representative was beautifully captured on film.

It reminds me of my 5 year when she needs to clean up her crayons upon being told it’s nap time. Seeing it all unfold with a grown man… now that’s entertainment.