Idea alert


Liberal stagehand John Mraz suggests a legislated end to heckling.

Ironically, Parliament ought to legislate itself into silence. Just as an alcoholic has lost the right to that first drink, our politicians have the lost the right to heckle.  They clearly can’t handle the responsibility.  A private member’s bill banning heckling outright should be drafted, introduced and passed by unanimous assent — and then enforced.  No doubt some traditionalists and rabid free-speechers would be aghast.  But I challenge any MP to declare that they believe they should have the right to shout at work.   Because aside from rock stars, floor traders and a few other crazed specialists, 99% of civilized society does not.


Idea alert

  1. I support this 100%. If / when dignity and wit return — and MP's can use their speeches to practice those — perhaps heckling can return too. Meanwhile, the Sergeant-at-Arms can get medieval on hecklers.

    • And call Black Rod over from the Senate fro backup.

      • Totally. "You wanna talk to me or you wanna talk to Black Rod? I didn't think so." It's all about compliance.

        • Ha! the parliamentary equivalent of the old "just wait til your father gets home…"

          If it walks like a brat and quacks like brat…

          • Seriously, Milliken's Dr. Spock approach just isn't working. Spare the guisarme, spoil the MP.

  2. Mercer's right, and Mraz is complicating things. Cameras would do it. Nobody wants to look like a yob on an infinite loop of youtube videos. Cameras to the Commons!

  3. No this would infringe on their parliamentary privilege you cannot legislate against that.
    Try it and a constitutional challenge will be brought forward.

  4. There are already cameras in the Commons, they just focus on the Member speaking. What would be useful is people reading Hansard and having the comments that are said be published to the mainstream media.

  5. "If the Republic confirms its status as a world power by the dignity of its legislative proceedings, do we confirm our status as a former colony beset by remittance men and rednecks by the savagery of ours?

    Good line.

    I still think Milliken should just do his job.

  6. Until Millinken is able to improve the very character of members he won't be able to enforce civility. The problem is, like it or not, that we elected so many jerks.

  7. A lot of MPs' heads would explode.
    On second thought, not such a bad idea.

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