Saturday, March 21, 2009

Del Mastro to the U.K.

Well this is interesting, Peterborough Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro in the U.K. to talk about "parliamentary systems and the economy." Part of a parliamentary delegation, OK. That's par for the course. But a little ironic given that Canada just prohibited admission of a British parliamentarian into our country. And then there are Del Mastro's recent remarks that exhibit a, well, questionable understanding of parliamentary democracy to begin with:
There are no more political parties in Canada, Del Mastro said, only parties full of opportunists.

"The Conservative party is now Canada's only party!" Del Mastro said, to rousing cheers.

The proposed coalition government is a blatant power grab, he said, adding that members of the proposed government aren't willing to face an election.

"This is undemocratic," Del Mastro said.
Gee, it must have been quite the conversation over there, as the Examiner reports, "The Canadian politicians also discussed the mixed-member-proportional- representative electoral system used by the Scottish parliament, Del Mastro said." Must have been a fascinating discussion of coalitions!

And then there's the whole unpleasant business of partisan attacks against private citizens while on the floor of the House of Commons:
In a move his communications director, Heather Bradley, described as "very rare," Mr. Milliken sent a letter to the House leaders of the four parties expressing his concern over some MPs' statements and stressing that "personal attacks" in the Commons are not permitted.
"...the Tories are continuing with the attacks despite the Speaker's letter. Yesterday, Mr. Del Mastro took a shot at Mr. Ignatieff over Warren Kinsella, a Toronto consultant who the Liberal Leader has chosen to run his war room in the next election campaign. Mr. Kinsella has been criticized over his recent departure from a committee of the Canadian Jewish Congress.

"If the Liberal Leader were as smart as his Harvard teaching stint would suggest, he would fire Mr. Kinsella," said the Tory MP, referring to Mr. Ignatieff's previous career as a professor at Harvard University.
You really have to wonder what the U.K. counterparts have to learn from such representatives of ours...

(h/t AD)