The House of Commons can transform into a room full of statesmen in a flash. This afternoon, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair asked the Prime Minister three questions about the Canadian response to Russia’s aggressive intervention in Ukraine. Mulcair was sombre and supportive of Stephen Harper’s moves so far. Ralph Goodale, the deputy leader who led for the Liberals, assumed a similar tone. Harper responded in kind, expressed appreciation for the opposition’s support, and reiterated the details of his conversations with Canada’s allies, including U.S. President Barack Obama. Harper even apologized to Mulcair rather sheepishly for arriving late to Question Period. Such politeness would normally have no place in the raucous chamber.
The leader’s rounds completed, the NDP’s Chris Charlton rose in her place. She had a question about electoral reform for Pierre Poilievre, and the House resumed a more traditional tone.