This is an interesting blog I came across on the use of the suffix ’gate’, after David Cameron’s admission that he rode Rebekah Brook’s horse that she was given by the police was reported as ‘horsegate’.
The obsession with putting gate after everything remotely scandalous or improper comes from a desire to group said event with everything else – to historically categorise it. As the blogpost says, it is ridiculous to compare some of the ‘gates’ to Watergate, as the latter was so much more significant. This is probably true, although the fact the suffix is copied implicitly implies inferiority. The fact the phrase is used all around the world (at least so it seems from this wikipedia page) shows the culitiral dominance of the US politics.