All who are here, please say "present" -

All who are here, please say “present”


As MP attendance is apparently of some concern, I am perhaps obligated to report that Helena Guergis, the independent MP for Simcoe-Grey, was in the House of Commons today for Question Period, taking her seat in the far right corner of the room. It was, if memory properly serves, her first appearance since resigning her cabinet post in early April.


All who are here, please say “present”

  1. Imagine an elected MP showing up in House, who'd thunk?

  2. Guergis will have to miss a lot more QPs if she wants to match the nonattendance track record set by fellow independent MP Andre Arthur.

    • In all fairness he did have colon cancer for a period of time. That being said it doesn't excuse the fact that he decided to do a midday news show on TQS filmed from Quebec city, making him miss QP.

      • Given the structure of QP, why an independent would ever attend?

  3. What, no description of what she was wearing?

    • I think you need to go to the likes of Jane Taber for that kind of insight.

      • Or kady,
        like she did live blogging the Afgan Mission committee, when it was Minister McKay's turn to speak, she blogged about socks..or some other clothing article.

  4. So the best MP would be the one with the best attendance record — like that kid whose name we can never remember from Grade 9 — or the one who had some impact while he or she was there?

    • I'm not sure the two situations you describe are polar opposites, really. Our MPs are paid to represent us in the House (among other things). There are absences from the house that are reasonable – so sick you can't get out of bed, representing Canada at an International Trade Conference, testifying to an internal committee – and there are absences that are not. I doubt that a witch hunt is really what anyone's looking for here.

      Finding out what MPs have been up to on the taxpayers' dime is in the public interest, and helps us attribute "value" in the auditing sense; absences are a component of that whole picture, so long as we put them in context.

      • My point is that there is a lot of presenteeism in the House

      • "Finding out what MPs have been up to on the taxpayers' dime is in the public interest"

        It's in the interest of people who care about this country and the half trillion dollar-plus debt of the federal government. We call those people "conservatives" (note small c), and when anti-taxpayer Liberal "Red Shirts" suddenly get religion, so to speak, on fiscal matters it simply doesn't fly.

        I'm getting trolled in a thread over at Wells' blog at the moment by some Red Shirts for suggesting $211 million in federal taxpayer dollars for renovating a museum slightly larger than a single family home in Shaughnessy is a bit much.

        It's going to come down to a popular uprising Lynn, like Greece, only much worse. There's no other way out.

        • Do you see any fiscal conservatism coming from the current government? Most people don't.

      • Showing up for votes matters, but QP is worthless and "debate time" seems like an out of date concept. People can "debate anywhere"

        • And certainly not in the committees. The Conservatives are so sensitive the can't be criticized.

  5. So did some of her colleagues come over to welcome her back?

    • Good question. I bet they treated her arrival slightly worse than they would a leper.

  6. I do not think that attendance at Question Period is necessarily any indication whether an MP is properly representing his/her constituents.

    • Mightr suggest the opposite some days!

  7. At least she didn't have the opposition bellowing didn't you used to be someone? – like the CPC did to Stephane Dion.

  8. All who are here, please say “present”

    Hey, the junior senator from Illinois voted "present" an awful lot, and look where it brought him