Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Inartful Dodging

Having worked in politics for nearly seven years I've seen a lot of disgusting performances from parliamentarians, but this exchange really takes the cake. You'd think the ruling party could answer a reasonable question about Canadian troops in Iraq, but instead the Minister transparently attempts to smear the NDP. I suppose I shouldn't expect anything better from this government, but the tiny core of hope and optimism left inside my heart dies a little each time I see something like this. Mulcair was right to call out the Speaker for failing to censure or at least caution the government side on relevance. 

1 comment:

"Jeffsks" said...

Mr. Mulcair is a Parliamentary tactician that Canada has not seen the likes of since... maybe William Lyon MacKenzie King. Mr. Mulcair has spent more hours than anyone in recent memory within the House of Commons studying the rules and regulations of Parliamentary behaviour. It's not unthinkable that he would know quite a bit more about procedure than the Speaker.

He provides a lead for his NDP party members, many of whom are very junior, having swept in on the Orange Wave in Quebec. He also confounds the ruling Tories, since most of them are so tightly bound to the dictates of Prime Minister Harper that few if any are allowed to think or act on their own behalf. And I can think of a number who shouldn't, even if they could.

Young Mr. Trudeau, for all of his national exposure, still seems unprepared for Parliament, especially compared to the studious Mr. Mulcair. All the blow-dried hair and perfect teeth in the world are no substitute for devoted and penetrating study.

However, Mr. Mulcair lacks Mr. Trudeau's personality and Mr. Harper's financial connections. The only time the NDP can seem to gain ground is when they argue procedure, but the penalties the majority party takes on the Commons floor are outweighed by their gains in the boardroom. The Conservative party can afford to absorb many of these jabs. It's an easy target, but ultimately shielded.

We are fortunate to live in a peaceful age where our government can grow both so complacent and self-important at the same time. At least we're not debating martial law or the War Measures Act, not yet.