Is there an adult in the House?
I’m tired of it. I’m sure most of the rest of the country is, too.
And Wednesday’s House of Commons shove-and-rage is a good reason to yell, “Enough!” At all of them.
We elect federal governments that argue for change, and once they get into the House of Commons, it’s business as usual, adults acting like children and thinking that they deserve to be called “honourable.”
This actually has nothing to do with governing; it has nothing to do with legislative agendas.
It’s all gamesmanship, procedural foolishness that wastes time and money and gives the general public one more reason to think that politics is a waste of time and space.
I used to cover a provincial legislature, and while there were and are political repor- ters who get wrapped up in the whole thing — breathless reporting about all-night filibusters or the latest small procedural trick — it quickly had me rolling my eyes. I suppose I wasn’t a very good legislative reporter.
I couldn’t take grown adults blatantly acting like children and portraying it as shrewd use of time and tactics in the political system. I couldn’t take the fake, stagey umbrage, the unctuous self-serving self-praise. I also couldn’t understand how otherwise reasonable, intelligent people could buy into the process within mere weeks of taking a legislative seat.
And Wednesday’s mess in the House of Commons?
The Liberals were wrong from the start by moving a procedural motion to limit debate — it was a trick that they must have known was going to up the amperage. Then the NDP, using a foolish attempt to slow a vote by physically blocking MPs from getting to their seats were worse: “Ha ha, we won’t let Tony go to the bathroom before recess ends.” How — well, “childish” fits.
Trudeau’s physical interference, where he tried to pull a Conservative through the NDP equivalent of a Red Rover line, then elbowing an NDP MP? Unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable.
Equally unacceptable? The Liberal move to limit debate in the first place, especially after their campaign promises to change things in the House.
But the opposition gets no points here, either — the foaming rage of NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, then the outrageous, ridiculous, holier-than-thou statements after the fact, comparing Trudeau to everything from a serial abuser to a murderer. Some comments about the shove by parliamentarians? “Deeply traumatic.” “I think there are people, on both sides here, who have experienced violence in their family. I have an aunt who was beaten to death.” “Abusive husbands said they did not do it on purpose, they did not mean to hurt their wives. I am sorry. There is no excuse.”
Frankly, that’s an insult to anyone who actually suffered trauma.
To people who say “imagine what would happen if Trudeau did this at a different workplace” — you’re right. But im- agine what would happen in your workplace if an employee blocked the company’s work by refusing to stop talking at a meeting until a deal fell through. Imagine what would happen if an employee used every trick in the book, including grossly inflated complaints about the behaviour of other employees, to keep the business from delivering an order. At work, we’ve got work to do. MPs plainly don’t.
All of it is sophomoric, schoolyard attempts to play politics, instead of dealing with a bill to address assisted dying for people who are right now dealing with real suffering.
This was not Parliament’s finest hour.
But does it really have any?