These people are not actors

Steve Paikin convenes a half dozen newish MPs and MPPs to discuss life in politics. Theatre is the most over-used word therein. 

Theatre involves actors publicly portraying characters that are, at least in theory, entirely divorced from their actual selves. Question Period involves politicians standing in public and speaking loudly. Often they may present exaggerated versions of themselves, but mostly, I would argue, they show no more than who they are. It flatters the individuals involved, diminishes the usefulness of the conflict, and excuses too much of the lesser behaviour to suggest such stuff has anything to do with Laurence Olivier.

These people are not actors

  1. They are actors and their public performances are theatrical because the policies and promises of political parties are utter fiction. Coming soon to a CPAC near you – a trilogy of classic tragi-comedies …

    As We Like It, or, Give Us All Your Money and We'll Take Care of You For Life

    Clash of Titans – A wise and selfless public sector destroys the evil, greedy private sector and collects a fabulous treasure along the way

    One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, or, Communism Works As Long As You Don't Call It That

  2. Of coure it's theatre! At the only daily session of Parliament where the public is invited in, you can expect politicians to show off, nod to the audience with 'non-questions' and so forth. Paiken drew out the little details that can lead to more discussion. I'm beginning to wonder about you people at Macleans. How many Macleans posts have I read about Question Period? You guys led the way for Paikens show. He has a loyal audience. As usual, he delivers the right food for thought. So now it's Macleans turn to build on what was learned. Of all the Canadian journalists, Paiken has the most common sense approach and he's the best multi-interview facilitator by far. So what is Wherry's problem here?

    • "the only daily session of Parliament where the public is invited in"?
      All sittings of Parliament are open to the public, the resulting debates are published, the house proceedings are televised and webcast live, and as Kady would attest, most of the committee meetings are open too.

      • By public, I meant the 'television' public. Online webcasts from Parliament have been slow in Canada (I recall Peter Milliken saying that he wasn't in favour of televising Parliament only a couple of years ago). There is limited seating in the galleries. The 'public' that is the audience for the 'theatre' is 'invited' …'to watch'…
        also, I think journalists are often blocked from important committee meetings.

  3. Standing up in front of a crowd and defending something you know to be stupid just because your boss told you to?

    Acting, pure and simple.

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