'If the heart of our democracy is Parliament, then the heart of Parliament is question period' - Macleans.ca

‘If the heart of our democracy is Parliament, then the heart of Parliament is question period’


Michael Chong’s motion recommending various reforms to Question Period and calling for a formal pursuit of those reforms received its first hour of debate last night.

The motion provides for some specific and viable suggestions for reform. The motion is simple and reasonable. If we cannot collectively, as members of the House, come together to achieve something as simple and reasonable and demanded by Canadians as the reform of question period, then what hope do we have of restoring Canadians’ trust in their institutions and regaining their respect? What hope do we have of recapturing the legitimacy and authority of this place as central to the Canadian debate? What hope do we have to meet the challenges of our era and continue the nation-building efforts begun by our forebears?

More than four out of ten Canadians refused to vote in the last election. In doing so, they decreased the legitimacy of this institution and the authority of Parliament. As I mentioned before, Canadians may not know exactly what processes, procedures or rules need to be fixed, but they know something is wrong and they know something needs to change.

Various members spoke in response, raising various suggestions and quibbles, but it seems both the Liberals and NDP are prepared to support the motion.


‘If the heart of our democracy is Parliament, then the heart of Parliament is question period’

  1. …and if the heart of Parliament is Question Period, we should stop feeding it Big Macs and smuggled Double-Downs.

  2. Quotes from Mr. Chong – Hansard Number 050 May 27, 2010

    "When more than four out of ten Canadians in the last election refused to vote, it is a sign that our Parliament is losing its legitimacy and its authority….Question period has become more about scoring cheap political points rather than about the issues that really matter to Canadians….Question period has become a time where behaviour that is not permitted in any boardroom, dining room, or classroom regularly occurs here in the people's room. As a result, there is a growing divide between Canadians who are becoming more and more apolitical and a Parliament that is becoming more and more partisan."

    No Canadian could have put it better. Mr. Chong for PM?


    • I've been saying it for years. Chong for PM.

      • Only if Cheech is Minister of Finance

    • I'd never heard of Mr. Chong before, but based on this I could definitely be convinced to support him for PM. That is, if he survives this. I can't imagine his party – and particularly his cabinet – would be solidly behind him on this, since PMSH and JB are Kings of the flippant non-answer.

      Can anyone help me by fleshing out some of the context of this? What exactly is the weight/import of a motion to the "Standing Commitee on Procedure and House Affairs"?

  3. And access to Information is the angioplasty of democracy.

  4. I get that the heart of our democracy is arguably Parliament, but if the heart of Parliament is Question Period, then…




  5. Chong: "the heart of Parliament is question period"

    No, the heart of Parliament is committees.

  6. How boring will watching QP on CPAC be now without MPs making complete and utter asses of themselves – Chong should demand they sing opera style instead – maybe mime – QP is waaay overrated.

  7. This expensive bad comedy that goes on daily on Parliament hill is just a complete joke to any informed thinking citizen of Canada. We pay these clowns an awful lot of money to get a daily dose of spin, propaganda, Quebec, separatist nonsense…just a lot of blah, blah; blah…the public is sick and tired of the mess this country has become over the last 4 decades. Thanks Trudeau and all the clowns that have followed. The politicians and media alike have created this brain-dead socialist cesspool and none of you have a clue how to correct it. A new party and system is the only way. Our BNA act served us well until Trudeau and his gang of traitors arrived. Now we are just ruled by a bunch of lost clowns running from one expensive scandal to the next, bankrupting the entire country in the process. What a joke, poor Canada.