Free speech among the political establishment in Canada has a wide berth, with parliamentarian underwear becoming a focal point of discussion after one MP rushed out of a voting session, saying he could not sit any longer in his too-tight underpants.
Pat Martin, a member of
Canadian House of Commons, was seen sprinting out of the chamber,
as his colleagues rose individually to cast their ballot during a
slow one-by-one voting session. Following a short leave, Martin
was confronted about his absence by a rival MP forcing him to
voice an unexpected excuse.
“I can blame it on a sale that was down at the Hudson’s
Bay,” Martin, a member of Parliament of New Democrat party,
explained to the audience. “They had men’s underwear on for
half price. I bought a bunch that was clearly too small for me
and I find it difficult to sit for any length of time.”
— Elizabeth Thompson (@LizT1) February
Martin apologized for his leave, but said he did not mean to
forfeit his right to vote. The MPs out of left field comment also
not only created a buzz on social media, it also threw his fellow
politicians for a loop.
MP Tom Mulcair said he was “having trouble breathing” from
laughing so hard during Martin’s explanation. “And that’s the
beauty of being Pat Martin,” Mulcair told CTV’s Power Play on
“He did it just as a light moment, something that popped into
his head because he had moved during the vote and you’re not
supposed to do it. Kudos to Deputy Speaker Joe Comartin who said
‘I’ll deal with this briefly.’ Everybody had a little fun, and I
guess that’s also good.”
Wasn’t allowed to leave my seat to call my son and wish him a
good night during votes. Funny precedent set today w men’s
— Eve Adams, MP (@MPEveAdams) February
Following the round of
entertainment Martin later admitted that he actually left the
hall to ask a question to the speaker.
“The actual fact is that it was a cheeky answer to what I
thought was a cheeky question,” he said as cited by the
Martin later told the Free Press he was thinking quickly on his
feet because he knew he had been caught doing something he wasn’t
supposed to be doing.
“I know better than that,” he said. “It briefly
crossed my mind that it might explain the behavior of a lot of
world leaders if their underwear was a size too small.”