Parliament should be civil. Because its 2016!
Reference is made to the events of May 19, 2016 in the house of the people in Ottawa.
I will start by stating I am largely a fan of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I will also state that I believe that respectful conversation is a much better way to bridge gaps and effect change than shouting and criticizing just for the sake of it.
Yesterday, PM Trudeau behaved badly. No person, whether it’s a head of government or an individual in an oft-uncivil environment, has a right to lay his/her hand on another person uninvited. We all expected more from Trudeau. He apologized twice yesterday, according to a report from CTV News. Still I would give him a ‘D’ for his behaviour yesterday.
The elbowing of an MP did not appear to be intentional from my CTV vantage view and Green Party leaders Elizabeth May has said as much in news reports. Still Trudeau’s decision to march into the NDP circle makes him responsible for what happened to MP Ruth-Ellen Brosseau.
The NDP MPs who seemed to block the path of a Conservative MP, again according to the CTV footage, behaved badly. Hindering the free movement of an individual is just as bad as laying a hand on another. The NDP members should apologize first and then attack Trudeau for his actions, if they still feel so inclined. So should every MP who wasted taxpayer money hurling insults at their peers yesterday.
Trudeau and Tom Mulcair get another D (no, an E for Mulcair, ’cause I havent heard his apology for his part in yesterday’s fracas) for engaging in what appeared to be a shouting match. Really gentleman! Leaders should be not engage in my-chest-is-bigger-than-yours verbal playoffs. What did you guys win? The National Bad Ass (NBA) championship?
However, I am more concerned with how our representatives all the time than yesterday’s events.
In my high school class (I grew up and attended school in Zimbabwe), there was a guy who was a perennial remedial class student. He was always getting ‘U’ grades. I do not what it actually stood for but ‘U’ was the worst grade possible. It meant your work was so bad, it’s ungradeable. I will give a ‘U’ to the Parliament of Canada. Yes, parliamentarians in countries such as Taiwan and South Africa have exchanged fists. But this is Canada! We are supposed to be better! I assume that the MPs representing us are good, sane people. Consequently, I would assume their participation in heckling and other uncivil practices in the house of the people is because they are just following a tradition.
It’s 2016. Let’s kick this heckling practice to the cesspools of history where it belongs.
A kindergarten class seems saner than the house of the people. Canada spends a minimum of $170,000 per year in salaries for each of our representatives. I have no clue how any of these people’s representatives spend all their work days. All I know is what I see on TV. And that paints a woeful picture. It suggests we are not getting our money’s worth. Pouring scorn & being uncivil to peers has no place in any public space. The fact that it does is a slap in the face of taxpayers and voters.
Perhaps it’s time that all citizens issue formal letters of mandate to our representatives.