Saturday, March 14, 2009

Your Conservative MPs in action, exemplary parliamentarians

Conservatives are still abusing the member statement opportunities in the House of Commons, there were three examples yesterday. But they're being cut off, as they should be. Here's one of the usual suspects, with a creative angle to lead off his "statement:"
Mr. Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, CPC): Mr. Speaker, hear my voice; there is no need to put on your earmuffs for this Standing Order.

Much like the common garden snake, the Liberals have too thin a skin. They seem to forget, or they want people to forget that only three short months ago they were in league with both the separatists and the socialists. In fact, they liked separatism so much that one of their senators took up the cause for Newfoundland. They ran their election on a job-killing carbon tax, even as the world economy was heading into uncertainty. Canada would be suffering now if a carbon tax were in place.

The Conservatives have cut taxes. We have provided help for those hardest hit and invested in roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

The other side of the House has no plan--

Hon. Wayne Easter:
Stick with John Tory, Dean. Stick with John Tory.

Mr. Dean Del Mastro:
Thank you for hearing my voice.

Mr. Speaker, I want the Liberal leader to know that imposing a job-killing carbon tax and hiking the GST is no plan--

The Deputy Speaker:
Order. The hon. member for Welland. (emphasis added)
Much like the common garden snake...keep in mind that somebody actually sits down and writes this scripted hooey. It boggles the mind that they put this stuff out there under the Conservative party name for public consumption. They seem to do it without fear of any consequence.

The second offender yesterday, Tim Uppal, went with armchair psychoanalysis in his convoluted ramblings before he was cut off:
Mr. Tim Uppal (Edmonton—Sherwood Park, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, my research has shown me that fear of criticism is usually caused by an intense negative experience from one's past, perhaps a sponsorship program that did not go so well. A major symptom of this fear is having difficulties with decision making out of fear of being criticized. For example, let us say the Liberal leader said he would support the economic action plan. Then he said he may not. Then he said he may. Then he said he may not. Then he had his senators hold it up. Once he actually read the plan, he forced his senators to pass--

The Deputy Speaker:
The hon. member for Ottawa--Vanier.
There was some debate following the questions yesterday in response to a point of order raised by the Conservatives, objecting to the Speaker's ruling. The Deputy Speaker indicated the ruling would continue to be enforced. If you're interested, Libby Davies' statement in that debate was a pretty straightforward and solid one in support of the Speaker's ruling.

Further, there's a Globe editorial today that makes two good points justifying the Speaker's effort to curb the personal attacks. The lack of opportunity for response:
Mr. Milliken has found a good place to draw a clear line. He has begun to cut off members' statements when they make personal attacks, because these statements are not passages in a debate; as he has pointed out, there is no opportunity for an impugned MP to make a reply.
And the damage such rhetoric does to the fabric of our democracy:
Canadians' allegiance to democracy is deep-seated, but contempt for politicians is all too common. If many elected representatives behave in ways that strain the public's respect to the limit, democracy will be damaged. Mr. Milliken's new militancy is both welcome and important.
That the Conservatives don't have the sense to refrain from this behaviour out of concern for such considerations is an ongoing travesty. At least it's getting much more attention now and this kind of public condemnation.