As the next federal election approaches, the operations of Parliament will become an even greater extension of party politics and, essentially, we will be able to witness the speeding up of a broken machine.
What we also can’t have is the status quo; the overwhelming response to Justin Trudeau’s action should be a clear signal that Canadians want change.
Governments call elections when they think they can win them. Everything else is communications.
When your reaction to Question Period is identical to the feeling you get when someone scrapes chalk on a chalkboard, it is well and truly time to pull the old plug.
In this particular case, the earned media generated around the issue will more than make up for the eventual procedural beat down.
Parliament doesn’t need advice, it needs an intervention.
Expect the unexpected, zigging will be the new zagging, outrage will become contagious, perspective will be jettisoned form the lexicon and doing the right thing will become entirely situational. But that’s politics.
The key to staying in power is to keep the ones who hate you away from the ones who don’t know, and that is largely an exercise in communications.
We are facing uncertain economic times, increasing global instability, and a federal/provincial Health Accord negotiation that could fundamentally alter the role of government and the relationships between governments in this country.
If we work backwards from that absolute truth, we can begin to sort out what happened, perhaps why it happened and, most importantly, what it might mean going forward.
The good news is that we seem to be actually having a semi-serious discussion about the issue. In the end, I hope that the current crop of Parliamentarians see the opportunity that these types of discussions may afford them.
Joe Jordan's list of how to make Parliament work better.
It permeates everything they do, it shortens strategic planning time frames to about three minutes and it sidelines a competent and professional civil service by the ongoing reinforcement of the principle that 'politics' trumps 'policy.'
Of course, it will never last. I am giving this Parliament about another 10 months.
Politics is like a hallucinogenic drug, it tends to intensify what already exists. Keep in mind that there is little correlation between winning an argument and being right.
Prime Minister Harper has been convinced by his strategists that a majority win is possible. It's simply the way the guy's wired.
Of the 33 government bills currently in the pipe, the most logical choice for an election culprit would be Bill C-10.
So here are three small measures that I feel should contribute to all MPs holding their heads a little higher.
At 9:52 a.m., the first calls came in of shots fired at the National War Memorial. Five people tried to save Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's life who was standing guard at the National War Memorial. He later died of gunshot wounds.
The people who tried save Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's life were later identified as Margaret Lerhe, a nurse on her way to work at the Elizabeth Bruyere Hospital; another corporal, a soldier, National Defence employee and former Naval officer Martin Magnan; and lawyer Barbara Winters who told Cpl. Cirillo that his family loved him while he lay dying.
People running from Parliament Hill shortly after the gunfight in Centre Block where gunman Michael Zihaf-Bibeau was shot dead by House Sgt.-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, House security officers, and the RCMP.
Police pictured at the corner of Metcalfe and Slater streets in Ottawa later in the day on Oct. 22.
Liberal Sen. Jim Munson in a lockdown in Room 257 East Block doing a media interview.
NDP MPs, staffers, and others locked down in Room 257 East Block, watching the events unfold on one small laptop.
NDP MP Wayne Marston, pictured shortly after running from Parliament Hill.
More police officers on Metcalfe Street, just down the street from Parliament Hill.
Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott does a media interview on Metcalfe Street.
A tourist who witnessed the shooting talks to police shortly after Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was shot.
Police on Sparks Street outside The Hill Times' office.
NDP MPs Rosane Doré Lefebvre, far left, Hélène Laverdiere, and NDP MP Charlie Angus, pictured shortly after the shooting on the Hill and the National War Memorial.
Journalists and others leaving Parliament Hill, shortly after the shooting.
CTV Hill reporter Richard Madan and CBC Radio reporter Susan Lunn.
NDP MP Charlie Angus does an interview on Metcalfe Street later in the afternoon.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, pictured that evening, addressing the nation about the shocking killing of a soldier killed at the National War Memorial and later the killing of the man in a gunfight in Centre Block.
The next day in the Hot Room, the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Gallery clerks Collin Lafrance and Normand Gagnon.
Flowers the next morning, Oct. 23, at the National War Memorial.
People bring flowers to the War Memorial the day after, Oct. 23.
A woman bringing flowers is escorted by police to the National War Memorial on Oct. 23.
People pay their respects at the National War Memorial on Oct. 23.
Conservative MPs Mark Warawa and Scott Reid return to the Hill the day after the shootings.
Conservative MP James Bezan, parliamentary secretary to the minister of national defence, is interviewed the following day, Oct. 23.
An RCMP officer stands guard on Parliament Hill on Oct. 23.
Police pictured outside the Chateau Laurier Hotel the following day, Oct. 23.
Justice Minister Peter MacKay, pictured in the Commons foyer on Oct. 23, taking questions from reporters.
Minister of State for Small Business Maxime Bernier, being scrummed on Oct. 23.
Parliamentary Press Gallery clerk Normand Gagnon, pictured on Oct. 23.
House Sgt.-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, pictured on Oct. 23 in the Speaker's Parade. Mr. Vickers is being credited as the one whose bullets killed gunman Michael Zihaf-Bibeau who stormed the Centre Block with a hunting rifle.
NDP MP Paul Dewar, pictured, and many other MPs, visited the National War Memorial the following day, Oct. 23.
Just outside the Library of Parliament, where Michael Zihaf-Bibeau was finally shot and killed after a gunfight in Centre Block.
Former Reform Party leader Preston Manning was on Parliament Hill on Oct. 23, the day after the shooting.
The Wire Report reporter Peter Henderson, pictured on Oct. 23, doing an interview with CNN. He had been locking up his bike on Sparks Street on the morning of the shooting at the National War Memorial and was one of the first reporters on the scene.