GATINEAU, Quebec, October 24, 2005, ( – The dignity of any country’s leadership is seen to rest upon how they comport themselves both in Parliament and out. A Parliamentary Press Gallery dinner was held Saturday, October 22 at the Museum of Civilization in Gatinueau which saw members of government past and present make verbal, and at time expletive, assaults at each other.

A video of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was shown in which he used expletives towards Peter Newman, author of a recent book on Mr. Mulroney. The new Governor General of Canada, Michelle Jean, told the audience that she was elected not because she’s a woman, immigrant or black—“but because I’m hot.”

Prime Minister Paul Martin made fun of Conservative Leader Paul Harper by referencing a photo of Harper from this summer’s Calgary Stampede that became known as the “gay cowboy” photo. In turn Stephen Harper, mimicking former Jean Cretien’s accent, used a play on words to suggest an expletive.

Canada is experiencing what has been described by various politicians, including Prime Minister Paul Martin, as a democratic deficit. Much of that attitude results from how politicians view their position and their fellow elected colleagues. The increasing volume of crude comments towards each other in the House of Commons and outside of it are causing concerns as well about a civility deficit which seems to fit in with the growing scandals and corruption in government.

Nation’s elite give, take shots at press dinner