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‘It will ever be thus’


 

Stephen Greene, one of the new Conservative senators and formerly chief of staff to Preston Manning, tells the Hill Times that the Senate should do away with its Question Period.

“We can look for ways to eliminate needless party divisions. In this spirit, I suggest that we abolish Question. The government is never happy with the questions; the opposition is never happy with the answers; there is no audience, in any case; and it will ever be thus. Question Period, potentially, stands in the way of the real work we must do here.”


 

‘It will ever be thus’

  1. This is silly. Fine, Question Period has degenerated a little, but blame the politicians, not the institution. Question Period, both in the House and in the Senate, in theory keeps the government honest.

    Can you imagine how much differently things might have been down here in the US if Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Gonzales et co all had had to stand up every day and answer questions?

    • Can you imagine how much differently things might have been down here in the US if Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Gonzales et co all had had to stand up every day and answer questions?

      The point is precisely that, often, our politicians don’t answer questions. Have you seen QP lately? They just say whatever they want. Its almost completely random.

      Not to mention that Gonzalez was a real star infront of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

      Q: “Sir, is your first name Alberto?”

      AG: “I honestly can’t recall.”

      Q: “What is the date today?”

      AG: “I wasn’t present at that meeting.”

      Unless there are mechanisms to force politicians to answer questions, there is really no point.

  2. The Senate has a question period? Why don’t they televise that one too?

    • Because it’s a lot less exciting and sometimes it seems like people actually care about the answers:

      http://www.parl.gc.ca/common/..%5C40%5C2%5Cparlbus%5Cchambus%5Csenate/deb-E/010db_2009-02-12-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=40&Ses=2#42

  3. Let’s make the Senate less accountable. Sure thing, Mr. Greene.

  4. “Question period, potentially, stands in the way of the real work we must do here.”
    Unelected and unaccountable!
    I got a better idea! Let’s make it voluntary and unpaid. I could get behind that change!

  5. What a bunch of crazy wackos; whatever happened to KEEPING TRADITIONS?!

  6. Methinks one should spend some time in the Senate before declaring what is and isn’t worthwhile.

  7. Question Period at the Senate is a very interesting read – moreso than the HoC. You’ll find it on the Parliamentary site the next day. I understand (could be wrong) but when asked for some information a Senator must reply – and if he does not have it on-hand he must come back to the Senate with the requested information.

  8. And by the way, if it is true that a Senator must provide the information requested, then I can see why Harper wishes to abolish the QP in the Senate.

  9. But serious getting rid of QP! Some days its the most comical thing on TV. Nothing like a good pissing contest between Liberals and Conservatives. Along with Taliban Jack jibbering some non sense and The Bloc bashing the country all the time. It was more interesting when you could see Dion struggle with English LOL!!!

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