Opto Civitas


The NDP is apparently keen to be a civil official opposition.

Moments after leader Jack Layton publicly addressed his caucus for the first time since a record 103 New Democrats were elected, self-proclaimed “loudmouth” Pat Martin pulled out a set of colourful buttons bearing the words “Opto Civitas.” “I choose civility. That’s the new me,” he proclaimed.

He apparently made 300 of them in various party colours. There’s even one for Green Party leader Elizabeth May. He plans to hand them out when Parliament resumes June 2 … [Layton] later noted that the “heckling” that’s become commonplace during question period over the course of several minority governments, needs to stop and that it’s time for “respectful discussions” that don’t drive school groups out the door in shame.


Opto Civitas

  1. While I’m not latin scholar, I think Martin may be ‘choosing citizenship’, not civility.

    Regardless, it’s good to see that Mr. Martin has decided to resist the urge to bring undue attention upon himself in the House of Commons – even if his chosen medium happens to be brightly coloured buttons.

    • Means ‘I want to be a citizen’…..not quite what he meant. LOL

      • Well, _that_ would have to be either opto civitatem esse, or (less likely) opto ut civitas sim.

          • Yes, but as a verb opto normally takes either the accusative infinitive construction, or the subjunctive after ut. Opto civitas on its own would leave civitas as the subject of the (first-person singular) verb, so “I, the state, wish for…”

    • I think the Latin adjective he wants is ‘civilis’. The semantic range of ‘civitas’ simply does not extend to civility, politeness, et cetera.

      • “decorum” would work even better; the meaning is closer to what he’s going for, it works in English too, and it’s in the accusative.

  2. Pat Martin is a Marxist nut that has an anger management problem that rears its head most barefacedly when he’s addressing women of the female persuasion. 

    He has always been a narcissist who loves to be in the spotlight.

    This is nothing but a publicity stunt in order to keep his name in the papers.

    • Despite a tendency to inflammatory language Pat Martin is actually a moderate social democrat, less radical than a good deal of his Winnipeg Centre voters and inclined towards coaliton building, between labour and greens for instance. He’s far from a Marxist,so you might want to check your own language/anger mgmt.

    • Uh oh… I think Martin better send you a button.

  3. With the Liberals down to 34 seats, civility has a chance. But actions speak louder than words, especially for someone with Martin’s track record. I’ll have to see it to believe it.

    • So, Liberals were the problem wrt civility in the House? Colour me skeptical.

      Dollars to donuts they’re shouting like drunken louts inside of six months. The last two leaders of the opposition tried civility and failed.

      • I anticipate a rousing round of “He started it!” “No, he started it!” “Did not!” “Did too!” shortly after the beginning of the session.  It’s hard to be civil in the face of rudeness, even when the rudeness is just a smirk.

        • Looks like you’re the one doing the “he started it”.

          It is impossible to tell who started it. All I’m saying is that the Liberals in recent times have perpetrated the behavior far more than the other parties. I also believe this had some effect on the election.

      • Just today:

        “what he is trying to do is to annihilate the opposition, this is a dictator at its best,” Mr. Easter said.

        “I can’t think of anything more wrong than having a spirit of vindictiveness in a majority government,” Mr. Rae told a news conference

        Looks like they picked up where they left off, despite their electoral shellacking.

        Notice the absence of juicy hateful quotes from the NDP.


        This is the part where you blame other people for it, as Liberals tend to do. It’s the part where you claim a government policy is a perfectly good reason for ad-hominem attacks.

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