Wednesday, June 02, 2010

John Baird, Parliamentarian of the Year

That post title is in reference to the news tonight that at a Macleans event, John Baird won an award to the effect of being "Parliamentarian of the Year." What a timely joke based on his conduct today.

Just listen. And watch.

Throwing parliamentary committees into disarray, he's a one-man wrecking machine. This is entirely intentional, this attempt to make a mockery of Parliament so that the news coverage is devoted to how unruly a minority parliament situation is. Tom Flanagan, on cue, picked up the line on Power Play, suggesting such things would never happen in a majority parliament. Yeah, let's let John Baird and friends fire up the majority machine.

Makes you wonder what all those parliamentary staffers that the committees want to hear from have to say and what the Conservatives therefore have to hide. Political interference with access to information is on the table at the Ethics Committee. Rahim Jaffer and his extensive contacts with government staffers is on the table at Government Operations. If we were to hear from witnesses, in a calm deliberative fashion, we might learn some interesting information about this government's practices. But instead, we're treated to the Baird spectacle. They just don't want any of this information in the public domain this month before Parliament shuts down for the summer.

It's really Oscar worthy stuff. The opposition should ignore it, keep their heads down, do their work and conduct themselves with dignity, unlike Mr. Baird.

Update: More on the dust-up from CP.

Update II: Also overshadowed by Bairdnacious, news that Christian Paradis, former Public Works Minister, now Natural Resources Minister, spoke with Rahim Jaffer by cell phone in August 2009 about Jaffer's green project proposals following which Jaffer pursued meetings through Paradis' assistant. Those meetings were pushed in a somewhat urgent manner by Paradis' assistant. Bureaucrats pushed back, giving the sense that the political personnel were doing Jaffer's bidding. Shame that won't get more attention today but it should. And that Government Operations committee really should hear from Paradis' assistant all about this push to get Jaffer into meetings. But we know that won't happen, we're likely to see more Baird theatrical performances instead.