Thursday, March 12, 2009

Three cheers for the Speaker

It's about time: "Speaker orders MPs to curb personal attacks." The report cites a number of the recent instances where Conservative MPs have used their allotted time in the House of Commons to make statements as launching pads of personal invective either against Michael Ignatieff or, of late, Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella, a private citizen.
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.

"I intend to halt at an early stage any trend in this direction," he wrote. "As such, I am writing to advise you that I will vigorously enforce the authority given to me ... to cut off Members, if, in my opinion, improper statements are made."
This is long overdue. And it's obvious from this report and accounts elsewhere that it is the Conservative party who has systematically abused House of Commons floor time to engage in such time wasting sideshows of petulance. Here's some of the serious public business the Conservatives engaged in this week:

Silly political games. Glad to see the Speaker is going to clamp down on this nonsense and further, that it's getting national media attention by being escalated out of the House of Commons statements section that only those who watch CPAC will see. Exposure of this juvenile extravaganza can only help to demonstrate to Canadians the character of these Conservatives who can actually bring themselves to stand up in the House of Commons as elected members and read such garbage.

Update (6:15 p.m.): More at CC, RT, Kinsella.