'If the heart of our democracy is Parliament, then the heart of Parliament is question period' - Macleans.ca

‘If the heart of our democracy is Parliament, then the heart of Parliament is question period’

by

Michael Chong’s motion recommending various reforms to Question Period and calling for a formal pursuit of those reforms received its first hour of debate last night.

The motion provides for some specific and viable suggestions for reform. The motion is simple and reasonable. If we cannot collectively, as members of the House, come together to achieve something as simple and reasonable and demanded by Canadians as the reform of question period, then what hope do we have of restoring Canadians’ trust in their institutions and regaining their respect? What hope do we have of recapturing the legitimacy and authority of this place as central to the Canadian debate? What hope do we have to meet the challenges of our era and continue the nation-building efforts begun by our forebears?

More than four out of ten Canadians refused to vote in the last election. In doing so, they decreased the legitimacy of this institution and the authority of Parliament. As I mentioned before, Canadians may not know exactly what processes, procedures or rules need to be fixed, but they know something is wrong and they know something needs to change.

Various members spoke in response, raising various suggestions and quibbles, but it seems both the Liberals and NDP are prepared to support the motion.