Making Parliament matter

The Agenda convenes a panel to discuss the state of the House


Last night’s episode of The Agenda, featuring Samara’s Alison Loat, Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett, Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber, NDP MP Nathan Cullen and yours truly.


Making Parliament matter

  1. Watched this last night. It was a pleasure to watch. You all came across as reasonable and level headed (the Agenda seems to have that effect on everybody…I have a lot of respect for Steve Paikin).

    I am genuinely curious about something…you spend, in my opinion anyways, an inordinate amount of time on your blog discussing the Members Statements part of the day, and the abuse of them for partisan purposes by mostly the Conservatives, but by all parties. This was true even before the Mark Warawa issue. For what it’s worth, I agree with you on this; it is soul crushing and the Conservatives appear to be the ones with their souls the most crushed.

    But you also said something else…that it is essentially the least significant part of the day on Parliament Hill (forgive me if I didn’t get it exactly right, I’m paraphrasing). And I agree with this as well.

    So my question is…why do you spend so much time on the inanities of the most meaningless, insignificant part of the day (this is not a criticism by the way, it is just a question)? You are, from what little I watch the Canadian news anymore, the only person I’ve ever seen in the media even bother to cover them. What if you just ignored them all, except the ones that were truly done in the spirit they were originally intended? You could have an entire parade of Conservatives dutifully trot themselves up and spew their partisan attacks and nonsense and the NDP & Liberals would respond in kind…and without you probably no more than 50 or 100 people outside the House would ever even know what had been said. It’d be a fart in a windstorm. The Conservative attacks have no power to affect anything if nobody knows what they say (if a tree falls in the forest, etc).

    Isn’t that a better outcome? Doesn’t removing the incentive to do this stuff, in cases like this where it’s essentially meaningless, help contribute to getting rid of it?

  2. I have at times found myself feeling the urge to dismiss everything that the Conservative MPs say as just scripted talking points. sigh It is an unproductive, shitty feeling
    After watching last night, I have newfound respect for Brent Rathgeber. I may not agree with everything he says, but I admire that he speaks his mind. All of the parties need more of that kind of attitude

    • Good point. Like I’ve said last week: where are the LPC and NDP MP’s for speaking out on this??????

      Which party, in the end, does have the most MP’s speaking out on this? Not the Liberals, not the NDP.

      How ironic, don’t you think? The media (and commenters) coming down hard on the CPC but in fact it is the LPC and the NDP who are the parties of cowards. That’s what should be the news of the day(s): the IRONY of it all!

      • Anything substantive to add beyond partisan spin?

        • And, so how would it be spin to say that the LPC and NDP MP’s have not spoken in defense of Rathberger (other than McCullen)?

          Is speaking the truth considered spin now? Interesting upside down world you are picturing for yourself. But it’s a free world. Twist the truth any way you like.

          • It’s spin because you took a conversation about the institution and spun it as party A good, party B & C bad.

          • I find you an interesting commenter because you have such a strange way of thinking logically. In fact, I find you most often commenting without reason of any kind attached. It baffles me as to how your mind works without using reason or logic.

            So, now you turn my posted comments into spin because I took a conversation about the institution and spun it as party A good, party B&C bad.

            Ok, but when it has been pointed out in the above that only one party (besides McCullen of the NDP) has several MP’s speaking up on the issue of independence for MP’s, which is considered good (not?) and other parties remaining silent on the issue, which is bad (not??) then I have no choice but to label it as such.

            Unless of course we should find the behaviour to speak out on MP’s independence as bad. In that case you may have a point. But what would be the point of speaking out for MP independence if it is not considered good?

            Help me out to understand your twisted logic.

          • I don’t see why particular parties needs to enter into the discussion. I think most observers can agree that all parties are guilty of subverting the independence of their MPs and that this damages our democracy. The TVO discussion was attempting to approach the issue from a non-partisan perspective. Your only comment on the piece was about partisan aspects of it. I find diving into the blame game of which party is better or worse just serves to divide those who together would like to see change. It’s a wedge.

          • So, having Carolyn Bennett enter into a discussion on TVO is considered non-partisan? The Queen of wedge, such as Bennett is!

          • *sigh*

          • “Sigh” ?? What, worn out already when trying to deal with the truth? Dealing with the truth is hard work. And when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Too bad to see you give up that easily.

          • Am I Carolyn Bennett? I don’t care about her, and that’s all you seem interested in talking about.

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