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The Globe and Mail

NDP MP stands by F-bomb in face of Tory clampdown on debate

NDP MP Pat Martin speask in the House of Commons on April 2, 2008.

Sean Kilpatrick/Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Longtime New Democrat MP Pat Martin says he's not sorry for unleashing a string of profanity on the social media site Twitter.

Mr. Martin dropped a few F- and S- bombs Wednesday night after the Conservative government shut down debate on a budget bill.

"This is a [expletive] disgrace... closure again. And on the Budget! There's not a democracy in the world that would tolerate this jackboot [expletive]" read the initial tweet.

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"For gods sake," he added not long after. "In these uncertain economic times, don't you think our parliament should be debating our federal budget? Some due diligence?"

The exchange set off a stir in the Twitterverse after it was monitored by Mr. Martin's 1,600 followers.

One fellow Twitter user tried calling him out for failing to capitalize the word "God," dubbing him a " foul mouth socialist" in the process. " [Expletive] you," was Mr. Martin's blunt reply.

Mr. Martin, who represents the riding of Winnipeg Centre, said he committed no foul.

"I don't apologize for what I said. It was a legitimate reaction to a genuine frustration," Mr. Martin said Thursday in Ottawa. "If anybody took offence to it, I'm sorry. I wouldn't say that in the House of Commons, but I was talking to the people that follow me on Twitter."

The bombastic New Democrat did make one concession: He may have gone too far in directing one of his F-bombs at the person who called him a foul-mouthed socialist. "I probably shouldn't have overreacted to that one individual, but he was goading me and I didn't appreciate his involvement."

Interim NDP Leader Nycole Turmel also appeared to defend Mr. Martin's actions.

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"His language was not appropriate and could have been offensive to some," she said in a written statement. "That said, the Conservatives' actions are not appropriate in a democracy and offensive to all Canadians."

The controversy has resulted in more exposure for Mr. Martin. The number of people following him on Twitter jumped to more than 3,000 Thursday. He said he hopes the controversy has brought attention to the government's move to end debate on bills in the Commons.

"The Harper Conservatives are running roughshod over everything that's good and decent about our parliamentary democracy and denying us the right to do our jobs as elected members of Parliament," he said.

"That's what people should be outraged about, and if they take note because of what I said last night, I think that's to everybody's benefit."

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