The Backbench Top Ten -

The Backbench Top Ten


After a week off to accommodate all that thinking in Montreal, here is the return of 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. Francine Lalonde (1)
The nagging conscience of Parliament. If Joe Comartin isn’t the next Speaker, Ms. Lalonde probably should be.
2. Shelly Glover (—)
Two days after this, she’s hailed as a rising star in the Conservative caucus. Everything you could want to know about the Harper Era of Canadian politics could probably be explained by the existence of Ms. Glover.
3. Daniel Paille (3)
4. Jack Harris (2)
5. Bob Rae (9)
The man knows how to play for the cameras. (Also note how yours truly has smartly struck a pose of serious consideration.)
6. Joe Comartin (5)
7. Wayne Easter (6)
Imagine listening to Beaker sing the songs of Stompin’ Tom. Does this accurately describe Wayne Easter’s stage voice? Maybe not precisely. But it’s fun to imagine what that might sound like anyway.
8. Derek Lee (4)
9. Maxime Bernier (8)
10. Dominic LeBlanc (10)
His heckling of Peter Kent—”Cut to weather!”—is entirely predictable at this point. But no less amusing.

Previous rankings: March 12. March 19.


The Backbench Top Ten

  1. Nagging conscience? Really? I could argue that everything that is wrong with the modern era of Canadian politics could probably be explained by the existence of Ms. Lalonde.
    Unlike the NDP whose attention to the detainee affair comes from a point of principle, the Bloc's language, and Ms. Lalonde's language in particular is to implicate Canada as having committed war crimes. The Bloc has zero concern over our international reputation, as they can point to all the tarnish (they helped apply) and argue that Quebecers would be less culpable if they separated.

  2. Shelly Glover rocks, she beat out Justin Trudeau in their debate the other day.

    O.K. Trudeau beat himself out by being obnoxious and later having to apologize. And beating out Justin Trudeau isn't exactly liking beating his old man. Still, Glover had composure, and she's got some media savvy, no doubt about it.

    • What? Trudeau succeeded in stopping her from changing the subject, period.

      She is the perfect partisan, PM instructed and approved message controlled person.

    • Glover argues for creating more Liberal voters by increasing the numbers of people incarcerated. I think she needs to think this line of argument through a little more.

    • As a constituent of Shelly's I can attest to the fact that that she is better a MP than Justin's father ever was. she is one tough , hardworking lady

      • Hey Gary, you wouldn't happen to be Glover's EA by any chance? Just wonderin'

        • Dear jarrid – sigh! To quote your hero St. Ronald – there ya go again…
          Even with the cards stacked against Justin – as the designated hitter for the Liberal team that day – on a CTV playing field that is ALWAYS stacked in the Tory favour – he ably succeeded in pointing out that Ms. Glover a) didn't answer the question posed b) was not corrected by Jane Viper on that point and c) clearly reinforced the need for that tired old CTV QP format to be rebalanced – if they do not want Opposition spokespersons to get a little snarky! As for ms. Glover – the best compliment I can pay her is that she learnt her PMO lines and delivered them with a certain panache!

          • Justin Trudeau was an embarrassment, to his party and to himself, on that panel. Constantly interrupting, constantly going on ad nauseum. Would his dad EVER have done that? Of course not. PET would've used the time his opponent was speaking to come up with a classic one-liner putdown that would've trashed the entire argument just presented by his opponent! Sadly, I don't think the younger Trudeau is capable of that.

  3. If Joe Comartin isn't the next Speaker, Ms. Lalonde probably should be.

    Did Aaron just nominate, even indirectly, a separatist for the Speaker's Chair? Wow.

    And, thank heavens…

    …no BQ member has ever been a Deputy Speaker, either.

    • "Did Aaron just nominate, even indirectly, a separatist for the Speaker's Chair? Wow."

      Horror of horrors! A..aa… the Speaker"s Chair? Within easy access of the ceremonial mace? NO! This will not stand!

  4. I kind of see Paille as next leader of the BLOC is Duceppe retires.

  5. Still laughing at the Easter line.

  6. Michael Chong should be on this list.

  7. Agree with Michael Chong … maybe he hasn't been in the spolight of late. Same with other Conservatives like James Rajotte, Greg Thompson, Greg Kerr, Joe Preston, Brent Rathgeber (sp?), etc. All strong parliamentarians.