Ottawa

Clap trap

Last week, Tom Lukiwski rose to express the government’s side shock and dismay at a demonstration that had taken place in one of the visitors’ galleries during a vote on the Canadian Wheat Board. In particular, Mr. Lukiwski was disturbed that opposition MPs would be anything less than appalled by the disturbance.

So yesterday, Bob Rae rose after QP to note that the night before there had been demonstrations in the visitors’ galleries again, only this time the disturbances were encouraged by the government side (which, in this case, applauded itself throughout another vote on the Canadian Wheat Board). I wasn’t in the press gallery, but apparently there was some degree of clapping from the spectators. Whatever the precise volume of that applause, visitors are not allowed to put their hands together in any way for any reason.

Either way, Mr. Rae posited that fair should be fair and that all sides should be equally opposed to all disturbances. In response, the Prime Minister dismissed the complaint and commended Monday night’s spectators as “peaceful, law-abiding people, which is all one would expect from people seeking their basic freedom and rights.”

The Speaker promised to come back to the House with an analysis of recent events.