Stephen Harper and Tom Mulcair are in South Africa today with dozens of other world leaders, mourning Nelson Mandela. Their absence means parliamentarians will serve up their typical mix of partisan fury, dawdling questions, meandering answers, snipes and counter-snipes and counter-snipe rejoinders, and probably a couple of worthwhile exchanges.
The Tory benches had experimented with civility for a few days, but the back stretch of yesterday’s session seemed to render that approach a thing of the past. Now, Speaker Andrew Scheer is experimenting with lowering the boom on questioners who don’t stick to government business. Will the Speaker continue to tut-tut with some frequency? Will the opposition change tack? Oh, the drama.
Maclean’s is your home for the daily political theatre that is Question Period, when MPs trade barbs and take names for 45 minutes every day. If you’ve never watched, check out our primer, which we produced with J-Source. Today, QP runs from 2:15 p.m. until just past 3. We tell you who to watch, we stream it live, and we liveblog all the action. The whole thing only matters if you participate. Chime in on Twitter with #QP.