The most important book on the Hill -

The most important book on the Hill


The launch of the second edition of House of Commons Procedure and Practice was held in the Speaker’s dining room. Speaker Peter Milliken (left) with the book’s co-editors Audrey O’Brien, Clerk of the House of Commons and Marc Bosc, Deputy Clerk.


NDP MP Peter Stoffer gets his copy autographed by O’Brien.


O’Brien with Liberal whip Rodger Cuzner.


Milliken (left) with Liberal MP Paul Szabo.


Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer and Milliken.


Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge.



The most important book on the Hill

  1. When are they going to get around to publishing the companion volume, that fabled Tory classic, Frustrating House of Commons Procedure and Practice? They'd look great together in a two-book slipcase.

    • When are they going to get around to publishing…Frustrating House of Commons Procedure and Practice?

      I believe a limited edition volume is due to be published–in heavily redacted form–and distributed to friendly media hacks whenever Christie Blatchford finishes bowdlerising the galleys.

  2. I'm gonna wait for the movie.

  3. FINALLY the speaker is dressed appropriately for the occasion!

  4. Let's hope she doesn't condemn them with the same brush, or tar them to death.

  5. Who is the publisher and where can a layperson get a copy?

  6. Bonus points for using "bowdlerising" in a comment! That word doesn't get used often enough.

  7. And with that inane comment, I finally achieve triple digits!

  8. Hopefully it doesn't go to Peter Van Loan's office before release.

  9. I finally achieve triple digits!

    See? Flattering Sir Francis, even inanely, always pays handsome dividends!

  10. Nicely done!! Congrats.

  11. Sheila Fraser says you started with 46. You corked the bat.

  12. You do have to hand it to Intense Debate, they make a hell of a cocktail.

  13. Never mind, I see an e-version of hte older one is on the govt's website, and I assume it will be updated forthwith.

  14. I saw a guy commenting the other day with a -1 score. Made me think of avoiding him. Apparently, his only mistake was signing up when the rules were changed , and you started with zero.

    Drink away – it's only bathwater – watch out for baby.

  15. We all started at zero, Dot. The commenting system uses a non-linear scale. One ascends to 46 (or whatever) relatively quickly. It takes more incremental comments to move from 99 to 100 then it takes to move from zero to fifty.

  16. Thanks. I need all the points I can get. Speaking of which…

  17. Oh, did you all start at zero?

    Colby Cosh – 31 comments, first 1 week ago, 46 points


  18. Thanks guys! The complimentary daiquiris are delicious.

  19. And with that inane comment…

    An ugly goal counts as much as a pretty goal. Congratulations.

  20. I think there's a big swing early on — one poor guy around here had an early comment unfavourably received, and toiled out of a -140 rating (or abandoned that profile — haven't seen it around for a bit). I think Colby Cosh's comments have got quite high favourable ratings so that's probably driven him up quickly.

    CR generally gets more favourable ratings than I do, which I think is reflected in the slight discrepancy in number of comments before 100p. You're right, though, that it looks like the +/- doesn't count hugely in the long term.

  21. I wonder who really did all the work. Not O'Brien and Bosc, I'm willing to bet.

  22. I'll never forget you, myl.

  23. I don't agree that you generally get less favourable ratings than I do. Either we're roughly tied, or you're slightly ahead the "favourable" scale.

  24. Really? Hmm, maybe it's an "eye of the beholder" thing; or maybe every time I waste breath baiting Steynettes I take an unfavourable hit.

    Like most everybody, I was pretty skeptical about the +/- thing when they installed IntenseDebate, but I must say that, regardless of the effect on "points," leaving room for the communis opinio in a controversial thread is a) kind of fun to watch, b) an incentive to shrewd comments, and c) a reassuring low-level defense mechanism against complete idiots.

    I wonder how many casual readers, i.e. non-commenters, there are on these blogs. The Globe, Star, and CBC sites all seem to get huge numbers of thumbs-up'ings and thumbs-down'ings — e.g. for the lead story in the Globe right now, the first comment displayed has 108 thumbs up. But, if that reflects a wider readership, perhaps that correlates to the unreadable idiocy of most of their reader comments.

  25. As you know, the powers that be (i.e. Whyte) decided that there was a need for a "comment rating" system, which is what caused Jonathan McKinnell to implement an unknown beta-version WordPress mod (IntenseDebate) in the first place.

    Despite the many annoying hiccups, including the deletion of most archival nested comments prior to the IntenseDebate implementation, I think the ID system has turned out rather well! I agree with points A, B and C.

    There are a great many casual readers of these blogs, including a surprising number of senior politicians and journalists. Macleans may have a lower readership than the Globe, Star and CBC sites, but the comment quality is undoubtedly higher.

    As Colby Cosh recently said: "Maclean's clearly has the best comment section of any major media outlet in this country (though that is pretty faint praise; the others all leave you feeling jittery and scabious after about 30 seconds of reading)."

  26. Btw, at the time of this writing, you having recently hit 100 points had 2,092 comments, whereas Jack, the other centaurian, having previously beat you by a few days has 2,134 commenats.

    Hmmm, now if I was the marketing manager for IntenseDebate, what would I rather care about? You/Jack getting favourable comments, or you/Jack using the software and making lots and lots of comments?

    Think about it….

  27. Yes, it does indeed appear to be pro/junkie central; what I especially is the fact that it's not an echo chamber, as many blog comment sections seem to be, and presumably the readership, like the commenters, are attracted to that. It's a credit to Whyte and Maclean's that they're not defining success only by the number of clicks, as those other media outlets seem to be doing with such appalling results. "Jittery and scabious" are the mots justes.

    I agree the loss of the nested comments from before ID was installed is grievous. If I recall correctly, Jonathan mentioned that the data had not been lost but that it wasn't displaying correctly after the migration. Maybe someday he'll be able to restore those.

    Congrats again on the 100p!

  28. Why don't you sign up for IntenseDebate, Dot? Join the Borg. You're far too stubborn.

  29. IntenseDebate Reputation Meter: "The reputation meter is a measure of strength of all previous comments made on our system by a certain commenter as judged by his or her peers. It is one way to tell whether the comment you are reading is written by someone well-regarded."

  30. I tried, but it doesn't work on Windows 3.1

  31. 4 out of 5 dentists recommend Crest

    It appears to me that IntenseDebate needs to do more work on their algorithm. There appears to be a very strong correlation between number of comments and score.

    This could be the result of a bias built into the system – for example, everytime you (a fully registered commenter) posts a comment it gets a +1 score. If that number is then still included in your average score, then you are in effect being rewarded equally just for commenting, however inoccuous or profound it may be.

    This bias, if it exists (I think it does) would be most apparent if you have a relatively low number of scorers/scores (again, only those registered can score another group member). So, if you ended up with a score of +2, 50% is a freebie, a score of +3, 33% etc.

    Just in this thread – you have a score of 90 with 1,233 comments, while Sir_Frances has 67 p from 297 comments.

    They need to improve the score function/algorithm in the next software release before it has any realerer meaning.

  32. Read the acknowledgements page, it lists a dozen or so drafters and editors.