Stop whispering, start shouting - Macleans.ca

Stop whispering, start shouting

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Susan Delacourt considers yesterday’s disturbance in the House.

I was initially taken aback by the demonstration today — thinking “you can’t do that” in the Commons. But I’m thinking that they’ve done us a favour.

There is no more respect among rivals in the Commons. There is no advantage for any politician to demonstrate respect or show civility or act as part of the institution … So why wouldn’t members of the public, in the public galleries, decide to join in the  mayhem? The point of parliamentary privilege is that it has to be earned. Rather than punish the protesters, I think I’d argue that all the participants in the Commons have lost their privileges, because the foundation of respect is gone.