Tory Leader in Manitoba Criticized for ‘Infidel Atheists’ Comment

In a recorded show hosted by a former cable TV host, Natalie Polloc, Manitoba Progressive Conservative leader, Brian Pallister, could be seen giving a controversial holiday greeting in which he refers to “infidel atheists.” Pallister reportedly stated that “I wanted to wish everyone a really, really Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah … all you infidel atheists out there, I want to wish you the very best also,” adding that “I don’t know what you celebrate during the holiday season. I, myself, celebrate the birth of Christ.” Pollock recently posted the video online to her Pollock And Pollock News Channel on YouTube.

In response to the video, a political studies professor at University of Manitoba, Royce Koop, commented that he thinks video shows a joke gone bad. He alleged that “the joke didn’t really seem to go over too well. It had kind of an awkward dad quality to it.” Koop mentioned that Pallister should consider clearing the air, asserting that politicians should normally avoid that kind of language. He stated that “some people wish that politicians would be somewhat less guarded, that they would joke around. Unfortunately, when politicians do joke around, they can sometimes be condemned very quickly and it cannot go well for them.”

On the other hand, Manitoba Liberal leader Rana Bokhari alleged that “we did hear phone calls and emails regarding that but you know what, I’m going to hope that it was a joke. But if it was a joke, it was in poor taste.” She added that “no leader of a political party — actually no leader — should be using such divisive language.”

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