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. Jack Harris (2)
Mr. Harris seems like just the sort of negotiator you’d want on your side: insistent, thorough and somewhat indignant, with just a hint that, if necessary, he’d step outside and settle matters the old-fashioned way. Maybe he’d rather not fight, but he’s not afraid to do so. Anyway. One could easily overstate with hyperbole the significance of this week’s deal, but we also shouldn’t understate the accomplishment or reduce it to a simple election calculation. What happened this week was impressive and it will have, one imagines, lasting consequences. That it was driven in part by Parliamentarians like Mr. Harris is heartening and should go some way to undermining the reflexive, lazy cynicism that is often employed when discussing this place.
2.
Maxime Bernier (1)
3. Michael Chong (-)
4. Pat Martin (4)
Mr. Martin, on Thursday, attempting to link the tales of Helena Guergis and Lisa Raitt. “Mr. Speaker, the member for Simcoe—Grey was thrown to the wolves on the flimsiest of allegations by “Magnum B.S.”, yet when a big shot lobbyist buys 40 $250 tickets to a fundraiser for a minister and then successfully lobbies that cabinet minister at her own fundraiser, that is just business as usual for the Conservative lobbyist daisy chain. How can the Prime Minister tolerate what amounts to a $10,000 bribe of one of his ministers? And whatever happened to the idea of getting big money out of politics?”
5. Francine Lalonde (5)
6. Michelle Simson (-)
That we can know how much Ms. Simson spent on printing holiday cards—$4,200—one wonders what everyone else is afraid of.
7.
Helena Guergis (5)
Well, if nothing else, she’s got Alf Apps’ sympathy.
8. Shelly Glover (8)
9. Daniel Paille (9)
This week’s episode of Paille v. Flaherty was typically entertaining.
10. Candice Hoeppner (-)
The Globe thinks she’s found a “clever” way around the ban on out-of-riding mailings. By Globe standards this makes her a potential future prime minister.

Previous rankings: March 12March 19April 3April 10April 25May 1. May 9.