I’m proud of Justin Trudeau’s outburst in Question Period. He called the Environment Minister Peter Kent a “piece of shit” for blaming an NDP MP for not attending Durban’s climate change conference, while it was Kent’s government that denied opposition MPs’ travel and accreditation! Kent’s attempt to lie about the circumstances prompted no admonishment from the Speaker, who earlier that week ruled that the Conservative party behaved “reprehensibly”, but not in violation of MP Irwin Cotler’s privilege, when they prank-called Cotler’s constituency and lied he was going to retire soon.
If you’re keeping count, two different speakers have called the Harper Conservatives both “reprehensible” and “contemptible”, and the Conservative Party has pleaded guilty to election financing crimes, in only the last ten months. It’s remarkable that more MPs are not losing their cool when they are supposed to remain prim and proper while the government pretends that polite convention matters much still in the House of Commons.
There’s a reason calling another MP a “liar” is considered bad form in Parliament, because lying is supposed to be terrible and unforgivable. If someone lies, they should not be a cabinet minister or MP for long, so there should be no need to call any MP a liar. However, lying MPs are not punished by the Prime Minister, or after ballot box results too. Opposition MPs are furious with the lying, contempt, and criminal actions of our federal government, and so am I. I feel better represented if they show the same sort of feelings I have on important issues like our climate.
As Matt Price also stated last week, our polite to a fault “Canadian-ness” is causing problems of detachment to our political system. I can’t think of a Canadian who isn’t irritated by the American perception that Canadians are over-polite, but they may be onto something with their stereotype.
Matt concluded, “It needs to end. We Canadians need to learn to be outraged by the outrageous. We need to learn that democracy is now a full contact sport that requires us to repeatedly raise our voices in order to be heard, and not to wait for our turn to quietly mark an X on a ballot once every four years.”
Trudeau’s voice was raised, at an improper time, and with improper words, to criticize an improper statement from the Environment Minister. An insult was traded for an insulting distortion from the Minister. I liked hearing the outrage in Trudeau’s voice because it’s an example of an MP passionately speaking out of turn defending the truth, a sound we don’t get to hear as often as we should.
ADDED: When have the Conservative ever had a “banner week”?
Dear politicians: at least lie well, ok?
By GRANT LAFLECHE , STANDARD STAFF
Posted 16 days ago
I’m starting to think Canadian politics should often come with a surgeon general’s warning. Something like: “Warning: Watching this may cause most higher reasoning functions to violently combust.”
Take the case of Montreal riding of Mount Royal, presently represented by Liberal MP Irwin Cotler. The Conservative election machine has taken to calling voters saying Cotler is about to resign and would they mind voting Tory in the by-election.
Trouble is, Cotler has not announced his resignation and there is no by-election. That alone should have been enough for the Tories to fess up and say “Yah, sorry. We screwed up. Everyone gets a rebate cheque by way of an apology.”
But no. They admitted to the whole thing and then said “Oh well, uh, no worries. We’re only talking about rumours that Cotler was stepping down. That’s cool right? Right?”
The rumour in question, according to Conservative house leader Peter Van Loan goes back to 1999, so it’s totally legit to spread it around in 2011. I mean, a 12-year-old rumour has to be true eventually!
Think of the fun we could have if we did politics like this. What if I said that I heard that our own Conservative MP Rick Dykstra is defecting to the Green Party to become leader. Facts, you say? Bah! Who needs those boring things? That it’s not true isn’t particularly important. All we need is a healthy dose of Van Loanian-like reasoning and it’s totally spot on.
As much as that bit of stupid burns like the flames of Hades, it gets worse for the Tories, who really are not having a banner week. […]
OTTAWA — Government House leader Peter Van Loan apologized Thursday for swearing in a verbal brawl that unfolded in the House of Commons Wednesday with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Opposition House leader Nathan Cullen, but the NDP didn’t say sorry for its part — at least not yet.
In the House Thursday morning, Van Loan asked Mulcair and the NDP to apologize for their role in the altercation, but that didn’t immediately happen, with Cullen saying the NDP is waiting to discuss the matter with Speaker Andrew Scheer before announcing its actions.
“I do acknowledge that I did use an inappropriate word when I was discussing this matter with the opposition House leader,” Van Loan told MPs in the Commons. “I should not have done that and I do apologize for that.”
“I would expect the leader of the Opposition to do the same and I do hope that at this point we can move forward and get on with the important business that Canadians want us to do.”