The Backbench Top Ten

by Aaron Wherry

Our weekly, and wholly arbitrary, ranking of the ten most worthy, or at least entertaining, MPs, excluding the Prime Minister, cabinet members and party leaders. A celebration of all that is great and ridiculous about the House of Commons. Last week’s rankings appear in parentheses.

1. Jim Prentice (-)
This week’s lesson: The best way to feel appreciated at work is to quit. To wit: having more or less disappeared into the environment portfolio, Mr. Prentice is now the an icon of decency, the most highly regarded minister to have served under Mr. Harper and the next prime minister of Canada. As a general rule, of course, the skill and stature of a politician is never more highly thought of than when he ceases to be a politician. The only way Mr. Prentice could risk screwing up his current legacy would be to attempt a return. As such, he (and Frank McKenna and John Manley) should be satisfied with our eternal longing. Always leave them wanting more, Mr. Prentice. 
2. Maxime Bernier (1)
3. Michael Chong (2)
4. Ralph Goodale (3)
5. Jack Harris (4)
6. Scott Brison (6)
7. Serge Menard (-)
The francophone Jack McCoy persists in asking specific questions about this government’s justice legislation and thus is he one of the most effective and valuable questioners on the opposition side.
8. Carolyn Bennett (6)
9. James Rajotte (-)
A cabinet shuffle seems in the offing and so it is time for the press gallery to once again champion the cause of poor Mr. Rajotte, the best gosh darn minister Mr. Harper has not yet put in cabinet. His is an addendum to the quitting politician phenomenon: he who has not yet taken on high office and is elevated by the expectation. This is approximately the 87th shuffle before which it has been speculated that Mr. Rajotte is on the verge of winning a ministerial post. At some point it seems rather cruel to keep getting his hopes up. In a way, he might be better off out of cabinet.
10. Ken Dryden (8)

Previous rankings: March 12March 19April 3April 10April 25May 1May 9May 16May 23May 30June 6June 13June 20September 26October 3October 10October 17October 24. October 31.

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