Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Unruly Conservatives

No, not talking about the federal Conservatives and their attacks on the opposition's patriotism, not at the moment. There was another unsettling display of temperament in Canadian political theatre put on by the Hudak Conservatives in the Ontario legislature yesterday. They're showing a willingness to say and do just about anything with no sense of limitation about their conduct:
Two members of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party have been ejected from the legislature for the duration of the session.
In what was clearly an orchestrated protest by the Tories, the session began with Mr. Murdoch rising in his seat and saying, “Where I come from, [Premier] Dalton McGuinty is a liar.”

The comment was virtually guaranteed to get him tossed from the chamber. Mr. Murdoch was asked three times to withdraw the remark and refused. When he was asked to leave, his caucus colleagues formed a human wall around him, leaving him well out of reach of the Sargeant At Arms.

Mr. Murdoch remained in his seat and kept yelling.

After a 15-minute recess, Mr. Hillier jumped into the fray and got ejected for the duration of the session for refusing to stop banging the lid on his desk. But Mr. Hillier's involvement in the protest appeared unscripted – he refused to comply with the pleas of his own caucus, including leader Tim Hudak, to follow the Speaker's order and leave the chamber.
The incident has escalated into a late night/overnight sit-in now, with all the charm that entails, read details here.

The Ontario government has committed to holding some public HST hearings, but is there much doubt about what would be in store if the Hudak Conservatives were granted their wish for province-wide hearings ("...we know that there are hundreds, if not thousands of people who want to appear before the committee.")? Given the antics of the Hudak team in the legislature and their push for these hearings, it would not be surprising in the least to see the sessions become targets of organized Conservatives, in a similar fashion to the health care town halls in the U.S. They haven't helped their case in the least. Note this Star report today, see whose name doesn't appear? Hudak's. Looks like he's lost control of this band of MPPs. And he's also lost 2 votes from his caucus for the duration of this session given the suspensions that have been levied. Well done.

Unruly Canadian Conservatives, trampling boundaries of civility, just watch them go...

(h/t CGrit, BCL)