Some time ago I wrote about the asinine lawsuit filed by a petty politician, Phyllis Morris, over comments made about her during an election... an election in which her past record as mayor came back to bite her in the butt. She lost the election by a landslide not because some bloggers commented about her track record, but because her own actions showed she was not competent for the job.
The [allegedly] moronic former mayor has finally dropped her lawsuit against Richard Johnson, Bill Hogg, and Elizabeth Bishenden and, believe it or not, the makers of the WordPress blogging platform, Automattic Inc.
Those previous articles, “Phyllis Morris despises Free Speech, sues everyone she can think of for $6 million!” and “Court of Public Opinion Renders Verdict in Phyllis Morris case: Guilty of Gross Stupidity” made it clear that this woman was out of control and her actions were nothing more than a SLAPP lawsuit... the acronym for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.
SLAPP lawsuits are now illegal for the very reason they are designed to accomplish one thing and one thing only: silence Freedom of Speech through court action.
They're the antithesis of what Canadians stand for, and yet this is the very thing the [allegedly] moronic Phyllis Morris did when she didn't like what people were writing about her in public forums.
I have little tolerance for people like Ms. Morris, and for obvious reasons.
She was a public official about whom the public has every right to comment. Discussing how competently or incompetently she does her job is precisely the sort of thing that Freedom of Speech is for. Public officials have no right NOT to be talked about.
WE pay their bloated salaries and pensions... we have every right to discuss their incompetence, if that's what we believe it is, without fear of that politician filing asinine $6 million lawsuits against us.
It would seem that after losing her court battle to have anonymous commenters on a public blog identified she's decided that common sense is the only option left to her... and she has finally dropped her lawsuit against Richard Johnson, Bill Hogg, and Elizabeth Bishenden.
It's about time.
“I am greatly relieved that this is behind us, [but] quite frankly, I don’t want anything to do with local government ever again,” Mr. Johnson said.
Quite frankly, who can blame him for taking that position? After this experience, local politics has clearly left a very bad taste in Mr. Johnson's mouth.
All because some dingbat local politician can't handle someone talking about her.
Her statement of claim made the ridiculous assertion that posts on the Aurora Citizen website made her the subject of "ridicule, hatred and contempt", an assertion that is absolutely hiliarious.
Does this mean that anyone who makes a cartoon of Stephen Harper, for example, should be sued into oblivion?
Harper, like the dim-witted Phyllis Morris, is a public figure. Part of being a public figure means accepting public criticism and commentary on their actions or lack thereof, and this includes things such as ridicule and contempt.
It's called SATIRE.
Deal with it.
That, or don't run for public office. It's a simple choice, even if Ms. Morris doesn't like the consequences of the ones she has made.