Since when?


Helena Guergis, responding yesterday to a question from Liberal Lise Zarac about Conservative Maurice Vellacott’s recent musings on abortion.

Mr. Speaker, I note for the member that all members of Parliament in the House are required to have their opinion.


Since when?

  1. Members of Parliament are also required to not read from script (at least in QP) when speaking in the house, unless it's their very first time.

    But we don't enforce all the "rules" of the house, do we?

  2. Are you serious? Is this an actual rule? They can't read from script?

    You've got to be kidding. What if they have to read facts and figures? Or if they're quoting someone?

    • Sort of, Marleau and Montpetit, Chapter 13 : "While not formally prohibited by a Standing Order, practice holds that when addressing the House, Members should not read from a written, prepared speech. A Member may, however, use notes when delivering a speech. The purpose of this rule, which derived from British practice, is to maintain the cut and thrust of debate, which depends upon successive speakers addressing to some extent in their speeches the arguments put forward by previous speakers… Other than in the most blatant cases, the Chair has shown a disinclination to insist that Members refrain from reading from a written speech, preferring to wait until attention is drawn to a transgression on a point of order, at which time the Chair typically rules that it is permissible for a Member to refer to notes."

  3. Sounds like the comment of someone stoned out of her mind on coke, with a rye chaser.

  4. Well,she's right- all MPs are required to have an opinion.

    In the case of Conservative MPs, the PMO tells them exactly what that opinion is. Deviation is not tolerated, unless expressly instructed by the PMO. In such a case, the opinion of all other MPs is to say "that is <insert name of MP designated to play to the base>'s opinion, but not that of the party."

  5. Sounds like the comment of someone who meant to say "entitled" but misspoke. Kinda funny, but I've seen better.

  6. Just don't let the PMO catch you telling anyone what your opinion is.

    • Unless it is indeed the prescribed PMO opinion, in which case, you have talking points to use, and use frequently and repetitively.

  7. A lot of Canadians act like they have a charter freedom from forming an opinion unless someone else supplies it for them first. Too bad some of them think that qualifies them to be a Member of Parliament.

    • It does.

  8. Ya, Guergis….for it before she's against it kind of person.

    Under Mike Harris, then changed under Harper:

    When running for provincial office in 2003 in the socially liberal riding of Trinity—Spadina, Guergis said that she would vote in favour of same-sex marriage if given the opportunity. Responding to a question on same-sex marriage at an all-candidates debate, she said, "I believe in the right to choose, so I would be voting in favour of it."[10]

    Campaigning the following year in the socially conservative riding of Simcoe—Grey, Guergis said that she would vote against the federal government's proposed legalization of same-sex marriage

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