MPs childish antics

Stephen Harper has toiled for years to position himself as Mr. Main Street. His ministers spend more time at Tim’s than they do in the House of Commons. They’ve gotten a little nauseating with the coffee shop shtick, in fact.

There’s something else the Conservatives could do if they’re serious about becoming the party of hard-working, law-abiding Canadians. It’s something every aspiring politician talks about — before he or she gets to Ottawa. It’s something they all know they should do, deep down. But they don’t.

Remember kindergarten? I do. My teacher was a nun. She was a tall, thin and very stern young woman. She was terrifying and pitiless and carried a long wooden pointer. She never hit us with it, but she often seemed like she was about to.

She told me and my classmates, day one: When I speak, you listen. When someone else speaks, do not interrupt. If you wish to speak, raise your hand. To do otherwise is rude and will not be tolerated.

By the time we reached high school, it was second nature. We messed up, sure. But we all knew the rules and respected them, most of the time. See where I’m headed with this?


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  • beentheredonethat

    “His ministers spend more time at Tim’s than they do in the House of Commons.”

    Can you blame them? Customers in Tim’s conduct themselves with some semblance of civility.

    “But it’s tradition!” I’ve heard some old pols thunder. “In the U.K. they do the same.

    Poppycock. I’ve watched Prime Minister’s Question Period at least a dozen times. It is by and large interesting and often very entertaining. Nothing like the nasty circus here in the colony. Have a Friday chuckle……

  • nomdeblog

    “Women tend to have softer, quieter voices than men. What does all the heckling say to female parliamentarians? That they must shout even louder, be more aggressive than any man, in order to be heard? Small wonder so many prominent women give politics a pass.”

    There are exceptions, for example Nancy Pelosi is “pack-like, primitive … circle like wolves, baying for blood”.

    But in addition to Den Tandt’s “rule could say this: When someone else has the floor, you will not interrupt” ; his other observation is just as important and that is the behaviour of women versus men.

    Parliament would benefit from more women MPs and MPPs. That won’t happen as long as it is necessary for women to leave, for long periods of time, the house and kids in Vancouver and live in a Motel 6 in Ottawa.

    So we need to have more of Parliament prorogued in Ottawa and Parliamentary committees run like a modern business, web-camed from local ridings.

    Let’s face it, the whole life style of a politician is perverse. We need to make significant changes to Parliament that recognizes the needs of a family life not a John Edwards life.