Monday, March 17, 2008

Commons In a State of Anarchy?

Peter Milliken issued a rare appeal for order in House of Commons committees. Stating that there is an"anarchy that appears to be serially afflicting committees in recent weeks." The speaker of the House of Commons also stated:

"Frankly speaking, I do not think it is overly dramatic to say that many of our committees are suffering from a dysfunctional virus that, if allowed to propagate unchecked, risks preventing members from fulfilling the mandate given them by their constituents," Milliken told the Commons.

Every minority parliament in Canada has been a sort of side-show, but perhaps things have not been this bad in many years or if ever. Committees can barely get any work done without a coalition of some group of parties overthrowing the chairmen, or the chairmen himself getting up and walking out to avoid opposition scrutiny and recommendations to the committee.

Though it is darkly interesting to watch, this could also be a very dangerous trend that is developing. Governments need to be able to govern, and opposition parties need to be able to hold the government to account. It's difficult to do that when both stonewall the other, and both would rather catch a good buzz from the media than actually do what Canadians pay them to do.

I find myself increasingly annoyed at the way our Parliamentarians conduct themselves. They think they are smart and witty, but really they look like a bunch of morons. They are not stupid people (most of them at least) so why do they behave like stupid people? Who do they think they are fooling?

Canadians are not oblivious to this, and recent voting trends seem to show that Canadians either can't be bothered to vote, or change their support frequently based on who seems to be acting the least like a clown that weak.

Imagine how things would be turned on their heads if Parliament returned to the more cordial days of yore, when opposition members and government members could actually sit in the same bar together after hours, when gentle prodding and teasing trumped overly partisan antics. Peter Van Loan, Scott Brison and the others who've been doing a lot of the talking for their various parties seem more concerned with "gotcha" politics than in actually working constructively.

No wonder good people like Louise Arbour seem to have no interest in seeking public office.

No comments: