Unfamiliarity breeds contempt - Macleans.ca

Unfamiliarity breeds contempt

by

The Public Policy Forum releases its latest survey of Parliament.

Operating under minority governments since 2004 has resulted in a Parliament where more than two-thirds of federal politicians have less than five years’ experience. In analysing the demographic statistics of the composition of the House of Commons, the Public Policy Forum found that 67.5 per cent of MPs have been elected since 2004; almost one-quarter of all current MPs were voted in for the first time in October 2008. A mere three per cent of MPs have more than 15 years’ experience…

The old complaint used to be that there were too many career politicians,” Public Policy Forum chief executive David Mitchell said Sunday. “We got a bit jaded that they had little or no real-life experience, but now we’ve gone the other way. The stunning lack of experience, and hence memory of Parliament as an institution, provides the context for the acrimony we see in the House on a day-to-day basis.”