The Backbench Top Ten - Macleans.ca

The Backbench Top Ten

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Our weekly, and wholly arbitrary, ranking of the ten most worthy, or at least entertaining, MPs, excluding the Prime Minister, cabinet members and party leaders. A celebration of all that is great and ridiculous about the House of Commons. Last week’s rankings appear in parentheses.

1. Bob Rae (10)
This week in review, Part 1. Let’s allow that Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff promoted an extension to the mission in Afghanistan—a position made clear months ago—for no other reason than a conviction that it was the right thing to do. Does that assuage any of their critics? Are we not always moaning that our leaders don’t stand up, no matter how popular or unpopular, for what they believe? Were all those Liberals who now are complaining about the extension just assuming that the Prime Minister would never change his mind and thus the Ignatieff-Rae proposal was moot? Or is the complaint merely one of process: that this should have been debated in the House and voted upon? If so, would they all now be fine if the proposal had passed?
2. Glen Pearson (-)
This week in review, Part 2. Looking back, was this perhaps the dumbest week in the history of our democracy? And does this dispatch from Mr. Pearson make you feel any better or simply worse?
3. Michael Chong (4)
It’s surely now time to add the abolishment of members’ statements—the 15 minutes before QP reserved for MPs to stand up and celebrate local bake sales or impugn one another’s reputations—to Mr. Chong’s proposed reforms, no?
4. Larry Miller (2)
5. Maxime Bernier (3)
6. Keith Martin (5)
7. Jack Harris (6)
8. Serge Menard (7)
9. James Rajotte (8)
10. Ken Dryden (9)

Previous rankings: March 12March 19April 3April 10April 25May 1May 9May 16May 23May 30June 6June 13June 20September 26October 3October 10October 17October 24October 31November 7. November 14.