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Parliamentarians of the year

A MACLEAN’S EXCLUSIVE: Gruelling hours, angry calls, so-so pay. If you think MPs have it easy, then you haven’t been one.


 

In this jaded age where politicians are assumed to be dishonest unless proven otherwise, it’s popular to complain of being governed by a den of thieves. But most Canadians don’t really believe this. If you dig deeper, you find that we are also quick to say that we live in one of the best countries in the world, and we have one of the fairest and most open systems of government ever created.

In our hearts we know that much of the credit for that goes to the members of Parliament who make our government work. And the truth is that most MPs are devoted public servants who spend much of their time toiling away in committee meetings, fielding angry calls from constituents and attending community fundraisers.

PHOTO GALLERY:  Mitchel Raphael at Maclean’s Third Annual Parliamentarians of the Year awards

To celebrate those MPs who best represent what’s right about Ottawa, in 2006 Maclean’s created the Parliamentarians of the Year Awards. The winners are chosen through a rigorous process that includes a survey of every member of the House (this year 69 per cent took part), asking them to nominate the best MPs in each of seven categories. Their votes are then weighted to ensure that no one party has an advantage, and the MP with the highest score in each category wins.

This year, the House chose Jason Kenney as Best MP Overall, along with six other MPs in various categories. Their stories are a worthy reminder that within the hallowed halls of Ottawa, greatness does exist. It is our hope that by recognizing it, we are helping that greatness to flourish.

THE WINNERS

How we did it: To determine the winners, Ipsos Reid asked all 308 members of Parliament to nominate the best MPs in each of seven categories. This year, 214 MPs responded, casting votes for fellow MPs within and outside of their parties. The votes were then weighted and converted to a point system to ensure that larger parties did not have an advantage. The MP who received the most points in each category won.


 

Parliamentarians of the year

  1. Jason Kenny? You've got to be kidding.

  2. WHAT AN EFFING JOKE. THIS GUY IS THE BIGGEST CLOWN ON THE HILL. HIS OWN CAUCUS LAUGH AT THIS IDIOT BEHIND HIS BACK. This is an obvious ploy by the PMO.

  3. Jason Kenney? Pffffffft.

  4. "Gruelling hours, angry calls, so-so pay"

    Who wrote this blurb?

    Gruelling hours? MPs get more time off than even teachers do.

    I'll grant the angry calls but that's part of the job. If they don't like it, talk to someone who's worked at call centre for minimum wage about 'angry calls'.

    'So-so pay'. The average Canadian salary is around $40,000 and these clowns get somewhere near $150,000 salary, $22,000 for 'expenses', gold plated pensions and a variety of other perks. I know our MPs like to claim they could make more in the private sector but I would like to see them prove it. From what I can tell many of our MPs are mediocrities at best and are just in it for the salary/pension that they know they won't get anywhere else.

  5. I think these awards just jumped the shark.

  6. Kenney?!?!? Best overall?!?!?

    'Scuse me while I lose my lunch in the bathroom.!

  7. Is the pond too deep or too wide.

    one federal MP for each 100,000 canadians. one MPP for the same 100,000 ontarians.

    We are so politically over represented it is absurd. The article last week by Andrew Potter missed this salient point. There's not enough talented people in canada that want to waste their time trying to work in a parlamentary system where the PM holds all the power, where the average sitting member doesn't have a clue about ecomomics, and the bun toss house of commons requires brain numbing control of emotions.

    There are too many bottom feeders.

  8. Who did Jason Kenney pay off and HOw much did he spend. If he got best overall MP there is a problem with racism in this country.

    Andrea

  9. Jason Kenny? You’ve got to be kidding.

  10. There is an obvious flaw in the methodology of the poll. They try to make a correction so that larger parties have no advantage, in so doing they create a huge advantage for the NDP. For each category the NDP will have far fewer choices (e.g. the NDP may only have 5 rookies while Lib and Cons have 20 to select from). Of course they will get a higher percentage when there are fewer to choose from.

  11. I didn't vote for my MP or our current governing party. I also have absolutely no desire to trade places with any of them: the abuse, workload, lack of appreciation, and level of ignorance that they have to put up with isn't worth what we pay them.

    I was a candidate in the last Federal Election, and was quite disappointed with how out of touch with the reality of our parliamentary system, our economy, and our place in the world so many of the potential voters were.

    I don't agree with all the results of this poll, but I'm not down in the trenches with the MPs, and will accept that Macleans knows its polling business, and the MPs know each other.

    Congratulations to the winners; thanks to all of them for slogging away on our behalf.

    Doug

  12. It bothers me a lot that the NDP actually are flaunting this as an example of who they are on the hill. I continue to vote NDP but the disappoinment I feel in the leader is huge. This is ridiculous to give this silly poll any credence. Jason Kenney, best overall, well, it is all downhill from there, boys!!

  13. WHAT AN EFFING JOKE. THIS GUY IS THE BIGGEST CLOWN ON THE HILL. HIS OWN CAUCUS LAUGH AT THIS IDIOT BEHIND HIS BACK. This is an obvious ploy by the PMO.

  14. Jason Kenney? Pffffffft.

  15. “Gruelling hours, angry calls, so-so pay”

    Who wrote this blurb?

    Gruelling hours? MPs get more time off than even teachers do.

    I’ll grant the angry calls but that’s part of the job. If they don’t like it, talk to someone who’s worked at call centre for minimum wage about ‘angry calls’.

    ‘So-so pay’. The average Canadian salary is around $40,000 and these clowns get somewhere near $150,000 salary, $22,000 for ‘expenses’, gold plated pensions and a variety of other perks. I know our MPs like to claim they could make more in the private sector but I would like to see them prove it. From what I can tell many of our MPs are mediocrities at best and are just in it for the salary/pension that they know they won’t get anywhere else.

  16. Yup. No doubt they formed a nefarious coalition for this very purpose.

    And it obviously included a strong Nova Scotia bias.

    I think we should go to the GG about this.

  17. I think these awards just jumped the shark.

  18. Kenney?!?!? Best overall?!?!?

    ‘Scuse me while I lose my lunch in the bathroom.!

  19. Is the pond too deep or too wide.
    one federal MP for each 100,000 canadians. one MPP for the same 100,000 ontarians.
    We are so politically over represented it is absurd. The article last week by Andrew Potter missed this salient point. There’s not enough talented people in canada that want to waste their time trying to work in a parlamentary system where the PM holds all the power, where the average sitting member doesn’t have a clue about ecomomics, and the bun toss house of commons requires brain numbing control of emotions.
    There are too many bottom feeders.

  20. Who did Jason Kenney pay off and HOw much did he spend. If he got best overall MP there is a problem with racism in this country.

    Andrea

  21. There is an obvious flaw in the methodology of the poll. They try to make a correction so that larger parties have no advantage, in so doing they create a huge advantage for the NDP. For each category the NDP will have far fewer choices (e.g. the NDP may only have 5 rookies while Lib and Cons have 20 to select from). Of course they will get a higher percentage when there are fewer to choose from.

    • Yup. No doubt they formed a nefarious coalition for this very purpose.

      And it obviously included a strong Nova Scotia bias.

      I think we should go to the GG about this.

  22. I didn’t vote for my MP or our current governing party. I also have absolutely no desire to trade places with any of them: the abuse, workload, lack of appreciation, and level of ignorance that they have to put up with isn’t worth what we pay them.
    I was a candidate in the last Federal Election, and was quite disappointed with how out of touch with the reality of our parliamentary system, our economy, and our place in the world so many of the potential voters were.
    I don’t agree with all the results of this poll, but I’m not down in the trenches with the MPs, and will accept that Macleans knows its polling business, and the MPs know each other.
    Congratulations to the winners; thanks to all of them for slogging away on our behalf.

    Doug

  23. Just to balance things a bit… I'm pleased Jason won the reward. I don't know how people can call him racist. He has spent a lot of time visiting ethnic communities, getting to know them and seeking to understand their concerns, etc. Where do people get that he's racist?

  24. It bothers me a lot that the NDP actually are flaunting this as an example of who they are on the hill. I continue to vote NDP but the disappoinment I feel in the leader is huge. This is ridiculous to give this silly poll any credence. Jason Kenney, best overall, well, it is all downhill from there, boys!!

  25. Cheers for Megan Leslie…Rookie of the Year! Wow….to be that effective, so early in her career. Leslie…don't let "blind ambition" EVER get hold of you; we need solid leaders of high integrity and courage for the future. Continue to ask yourself, "what is most important for the good of the whole?"…be courageous enough to "do nothing, until you KNOW what to do"…to be still…to wait on the best "right-RIGHT" answer….and it will ALWAYS come to you. Sometimes the better answers "dawn" on us a bit more slowly….whereas the reactionary Fast Quick Fix has no solid staying power…and can prove to be disasterous down the road. You have high energy, it appears. Go slowly and steadily with it, and you can soar to heights that can bring lasting and great change… over time. Slowly slowly catchee monkey. All the best.

  26. Jason Kenny as the best MP… what a load of crap. Maybe if the KKK was your sample group. I don't know any Canadian who supports his racist policies.

  27. What racist policies??

  28. the angry calls thing is a bit of a joke, they probably don't take your call, if you write them they never write back

  29. My guess is that Mt doesn't have any "facts" to support those vile slurs. Just another stupid troll.

  30. Just to balance things a bit… I’m pleased Jason won the reward. I don’t know how people can call him racist. He has spent a lot of time visiting ethnic communities, getting to know them and seeking to understand their concerns, etc. Where do people get that he’s racist?

  31. Cheers for Megan Leslie…Rookie of the Year! Wow….to be that effective, so early in her career. Leslie…don’t let “blind ambition” EVER get hold of you; we need solid leaders of high integrity and courage for the future. Continue to ask yourself, “what is most important for the good of the whole?”…be courageous enough to “do nothing, until you KNOW what to do”…to be still…to wait on the best “right-RIGHT” answer….and it will ALWAYS come to you. Sometimes the better answers “dawn” on us a bit more slowly….whereas the reactionary Fast Quick Fix has no solid staying power…and can prove to be disasterous down the road. You have high energy, it appears. Go slowly and steadily with it, and you can soar to heights that can bring lasting and great change… over time. Slowly slowly catchee monkey. All the best.

  32. Jason Kenny as the best MP… what a load of crap. Maybe if the KKK was your sample group. I don’t know any Canadian who supports his racist policies.

    • What racist policies??

      • My guess is that Mt doesn’t have any “facts” to support those vile slurs. Just another stupid troll.

  33. Jason Kenny our best? We are in deep trouble.

  34. the angry calls thing is a bit of a joke, they probably don’t take your call, if you write them they never write back

  35. Jason Kenny our best? We are in deep trouble.

  36. Uhhhhhh… Jason Kenney? I think Ill be cancelling my subscription to Macleans now.

  37. God Bless Jason Kenney……and his goon squad staff

  38. Jason Kenney must have voted for himself…he's one of the most partisan MPs on the Hill. I'd like to see the questions and the methodology used to determine who is the best overall and, as the Leader of the Opposition says, Canada can do better.

  39. First I am shock that you gave any award to a conservative! Second, since you did that all the comments are about attacking this guy! These people would be so happy if it was another sorry liberal won best parliamentarian and brag about them. For rookie MP I would have voted for the Minister of Health Ms. Leona Aglukkaq but I understand the choice. One last thing for liberals just because you don't like conservatives does not make Jason Kenney a racist?

  40. Somebody please explain how Jason Kenney is a racist or else I'm going to start spreading random rumours.

  41. What,no 'best hair' MP award this year? :)

  42. Uhhhhhh… Jason Kenney? I think Ill be cancelling my subscription to Macleans now.

  43. God Bless Jason Kenney……and his goon squad staff

  44. Jason Kenney must have voted for himself…he’s one of the most partisan MPs on the Hill. I’d like to see the questions and the methodology used to determine who is the best overall and, as the Leader of the Opposition says, Canada can do better.

  45. First I am shock that you gave any award to a conservative! Second, since you did that all the comments are about attacking this guy! These people would be so happy if it was another sorry liberal won best parliamentarian and brag about them. For rookie MP I would have voted for the Minister of Health Ms. Leona Aglukkaq but I understand the choice. One last thing for liberals just because you don’t like conservatives does not make Jason Kenney a racist?

  46. Somebody please explain how Jason Kenney is a racist or else I’m going to start spreading random rumours.

  47. What,no ‘best hair’ MP award this year? :)

    • Too many categories. They also had to drop the “nicest breasts” and “common touch” categories for lack of eligible candidates; but they did manage to use most of the copy they had prepared for the winner. ;-)

  48. Every time I hear about Jason Kenney, is when he is speaking in some synagogue or to some Jewish group telling them how much he supports Israel and opposes the poor people that got massacred in Gaza, or when he refuses entry to Canada to George Galloway because he gave some assistance to the palestinians in Gaza. So you name him the parliamentarian of the year. What a joke.

  49. Ready. Fire. Aim!

    The winners are chosen through a rigorous process that includes a survey of every member of the House (this year 69 per cent took part), asking them to nominate the best MPs in each of seven categories. Their votes are then weighted to ensure that no one party has an advantage, and the MP with the highest score in each category wins.

    This year, the House chose Jason Kenney as Best MP

  50. I cannot get over how irrational most of the above comments are. Can anyone give specifics? One can not tell what it is that anyone objects to. Just a bunch of irrational expletives. Jason is just smart, and therefore does not regergitate what everyone wants to hear. That means change. And if it comes from Jason, it will likely be change for the good.

  51. Every time I hear about Jason Kenney, is when he is speaking in some synagogue or to some Jewish group telling them how much he supports Israel and opposes the poor people that got massacred in Gaza, or when he refuses entry to Canada to George Galloway because he gave some assistance to the palestinians in Gaza. So you name him the parliamentarian of the year. What a joke.

    • Ready. Fire. Aim!

      The winners are chosen through a rigorous process that includes a survey of every member of the House (this year 69 per cent took part), asking them to nominate the best MPs in each of seven categories. Their votes are then weighted to ensure that no one party has an advantage, and the MP with the highest score in each category wins.

      This year, the House chose Jason Kenney as Best MP

      • “Rigorous process”? Would you like to explain what this rigorous process is? Unless we know how many votes he received for the best MP, this survey has no credibility. A majority could as easily mean (and probably does in Kenny’s case) that he received a total of two votes for the best MP:

        69% = 213 participants out of 308 MPs. 211 voted for themselves (or another MP who is not Kenny.) The remaining two MPs voted for Kenny. Not that rigorous if you ask me…

  52. Jason Kenney? Really? The MPs must know something I don't!

    For most honest, I'd recommend Gordon O'Connor, even though I worked on the campaign against the guy. I asked him what the Tory policy was on accommodating disability, and he shot back, "We don't have one." Now that is honest!

    My personal nominiation for best MP would be Martha Hall Findlay – one of the most intelligent people I have met.

  53. I cannot get over how irrational most of the above comments are. Can anyone give specifics? One can not tell what it is that anyone objects to. Just a bunch of irrational expletives. Jason is just smart, and therefore does not regergitate what everyone wants to hear. That means change. And if it comes from Jason, it will likely be change for the good.

  54. Too many categories. They also had to drop the "nicest breasts" and "common touch" categories for lack of eligible candidates; but they did manage to use most of the copy they had prepared for the winner. ;-)

  55. Jason Kenney? Really? The MPs must know something I don’t!

    For most honest, I’d recommend Gordon O’Connor, even though I worked on the campaign against the guy. I asked him what the Tory policy was on accommodating disability, and he shot back, “We don’t have one.” Now that is honest!

    My personal nominiation for best MP would be Martha Hall Findlay – one of the most intelligent people I have met.

  56. Is this for real? Jason Kenney parliamentarian of the year?! Kenney never had a real job in the real world. Ex reform m.p who was anti everything, extremely partisan and who is part of the 47% of the conservative m.p's who have high school education or less.

  57. Is this for real? Jason Kenney parliamentarian of the year?! Kenney never had a real job in the real world. Ex reform m.p who was anti everything, extremely partisan and who is part of the 47% of the conservative m.p’s who have high school education or less.

    • how shallow from this writer to say he never finished high school .So what my father has a grade 4 education and is one of the brightest wise knowledgeable individuals i have ever met .Some people are doers .Mother Teresa ,Ghandi ,Desmond tutu I doubt had finished high school .I am constantly in awe of people I meet who for one reason or another never finished their schooling but contribute in a substantial way to society .As my good friend Dorothy Murphy a highschool teacher said there are many ways to get an education

      • Ghandi had a law degree
        Desmond Tutu got a diploma in teaching against great odds in his homeland of South Africa
        Mother Teresa was a teacher and a lifelong advocate of education
        I believe Jason Kenney DOES have a high school degree, but dropped out of school before finishing an under-graduate degree.

        While it is true that a person who has not had the opportunity for education may be highly intelligent, and you don’t have to have an IQ high enough to get into Mensa to be a valued human being, MPs run our country and perhaps we should expect more.
        That’s a pretty important job, don’t you think?
        Would you have your wisdom teeth removed by a someone who hadn’t gone to dental school? Do you take your car for repairs to a non-certified mechanic? Do you look into the credentials of your renovator/plumber/electrition? Does your GP have a degree? Did the chef at the restaurant you love go to cooking school?

        There may be plenty of ways to get an education in life, but only one way to get specific knowledge that prepares you to take on more specific and complex jobs.
        You absolutley can contribute to society in a substantial way without significant education. But some things simply require training.

        A parliamentarian is a) a member of parliament, b) someone who is an expert at formal assembly rules (like Robert’s Rules). Neither of these definitions imply Jason Kenney has any clue about Citizenship and Immigration policy. Maybe he does. But he doesn’t have the education to prove it, and probably wouldn’t have gotten an interview if politics worked like the real world – the real world does a far better job of vetting job candidates.

  58. Are you MAD?! Jason Kenney could easily win my vote for WORST MP of the year, but BEST?? How in the world did you manage to come to this nonsensical choice? The man is anti-immigrant, anti-democracy, & a partisan ideologue who is Harper's main "spinner". I wouldn't trust the man with a knitting needle – let alone a ten foot pole. Maclean's, you have sunk to a new low. You used to be a Canadian magazine. Lately you seem to have become a Harper Conservative puppet mouthpiece.

  59. Are you MAD?! Jason Kenney could easily win my vote for WORST MP of the year, but BEST?? How in the world did you manage to come to this nonsensical choice? The man is anti-immigrant, anti-democracy, & a partisan ideologue who is Harper’s main “spinner”. I wouldn’t trust the man with a knitting needle – let alone a ten foot pole. Maclean’s, you have sunk to a new low. You used to be a Canadian magazine. Lately you seem to have become a Harper Conservative puppet mouthpiece.

    • Anti – immigrant? A comment like that reflects utter ignorance of Mr. Kenney, his beliefs, and the staff he surrounds himself with. And it suggests a troubing antipathy to his committment to have an immigration policy with a purpose other than securing votes.
      A further indication of ignorance rests on the fact that it wasn’t Macleans that chose him as parliamentarian of the year, it was his fellow MPs.

  60. Great call Macleans! Jason Kenny is an inspiring public figure and a principled conservative with a bright future in Canadian politics.

  61. "Rigorous process"? Would you like to explain what this rigorous process is? Unless we know how many votes he received for the best MP, this survey has no credibility. A majority could as easily mean (and probably does in Kenny's case) that he received a total of two votes for the best MP:

    69% = 213 participants out of 308 MPs. 211 voted for themselves (or another MP who is not Kenny.) The remaining two MPs voted for Kenny. Not that rigorous if you ask me…

  62. how shallow from this writer to say he never finished high school .So what my father has a grade 4 education and is one of the brightest wise knowledgeable individuals i have ever met .Some people are doers .Mother Teresa ,Ghandi ,Desmond tutu I doubt had finished high school .I am constantly in awe of people I meet who for one reason or another never finished their schooling but contribute in a substantial way to society .As my good friend Dorothy Murphy a highschool teacher said there are many ways to get an education

  63. Only if you're definition of bright future means that all Canadians should look the same, talk the same and do everything that aligns this Mr. Kenny values! Future can't be brighter with leaders who discriminate!!

  64. Great call Macleans! Jason Kenny is an inspiring public figure and a principled conservative with a bright future in Canadian politics.

    • Only if you’re definition of bright future means that all Canadians should look the same, talk the same and do everything that aligns this Mr. Kenny values! Future can’t be brighter with leaders who discriminate!!

    • you are correct, Mr. Kenney inspires all those hate mongers in Canada. I wonder how those who survived the holocaust feel about the fact that Mr. Kenney keeps a picture of Cardinal Stepinac (convicted war criminal, found guilty of collaborating with the Usatse-Nazis in Croatia in WW2) on his desk in Ottawa?

  65. Anti – immigrant? A comment like that reflects utter ignorance of Mr. Kenney, his beliefs, and the staff he surrounds himself with. And it suggests a troubing antipathy to his committment to have an immigration policy with a purpose other than securing votes.

    A further indication of ignorance rests on the fact that it wasn't Macleans that chose him as parliamentarian of the year, it was his fellow MPs.

  66. Am elated by a couple or three choices made by Parlimentarians. With each representing a category among the seven MPs chosen, there are three NDP MPs [two from the 'fax'] as well as being three MPs representing Nova Scotians, two NDP and one Independent. Speaks volumes about those who truly make a difference in Ottawa. Time for the good folks of NS to take heed of this outcome and apply it to the upcoming election here in which it finally looks possible of electing a conscientious NDP majority government.

  67. Ghandi had a law degree

    Desmond Tutu got a diploma in teaching against great odds in his homeland of South Africa

    Mother Teresa was a teacher and a lifelong advocate of education

    I believe Jason Kenney DOES have a high school degree, but dropped out of school before finishing an under-graduate degree.

    While it is true that a person who has not had the opportunity for education may be highly intelligent, and you don't have to have an IQ high enough to get into Mensa to be a valued human being, MPs run our country and perhaps we should expect more.

    That's a pretty important job, don't you think?

    Would you have your wisdom teeth removed by a someone who hadn't gone to dental school? Do you take your car for repairs to a non-certified mechanic? Do you look into the credentials of your renovator/plumber/electrition? Does your GP have a degree? Did the chef at the restaurant you love go to cooking school?

    There may be plenty of ways to get an education in life, but only one way to get specific knowledge that prepares you to take on more specific and complex jobs.

    You absolutley can contribute to society in a substantial way without significant education. But some things simply require training.

    A parliamentarian is a) a member of parliament, b) someone who is an expert at formal assembly rules (like Robert's Rules). Neither of these definitions imply Jason Kenney has any clue about Citizenship and Immigration policy. Maybe he does. But he doesn't have the education to prove it, and probably wouldn't have gotten an interview if politics worked like the real world – the real world does a far better job of vetting job candidates.

  68. Am elated by a couple or three choices made by Parlimentarians. With each representing a category among the seven MPs chosen, there are three NDP MPs [two from the ‘fax’] as well as being three MPs representing Nova Scotians, two NDP and one Independent. Speaks volumes about those who truly make a difference in Ottawa. Time for the good folks of NS to take heed of this outcome and apply it to the upcoming election here in which it finally looks possible of electing a conscientious NDP majority government.

  69. you are correct, Mr. Kenney inspires all those hate mongers in Canada. I wonder how those who survived the holocaust feel about the fact that Mr. Kenney keeps a picture of Cardinal Stepinac (convicted war criminal, found guilty of collaborating with the Usatse-Nazis in Croatia in WW2) on his desk in Ottawa?

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