Ottawa

'MPs had just taken themselves out of the game'

Liberal MP John McKay laments the defeat of Motion 312.

As MPs exited the Chamber after the crushing defeat of M-312 (a motion to Study Canada’s 400 Year Old Definition of a Human Being), I was struck by the sombre atmosphere. Usually MPs are quite chatty and boisterous after votes as they head off to various receptions, meetings, etc.; not so on Wednesday night. It was as if someone had died. In fact, I said to a colleague it was like exiting a funeral. Conversation was muted. The shrillness that characterized the debate was silenced. Maybe someone or something did die, and MPs inadvertently reflected it in their demeanor…

Parliament was asked to speak, and it refused. Maybe at some level the sombre atmosphere exiting the Chamber reflected more than merely friends and colleagues being at odds with each other. Maybe it reflected on the realization that MPs had just taken themselves out of the game. Canadians should be entitled to a mature and civilized rights dialogue.