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.
The current session seems to be a bit unprecedented in terms of how far off the rails we currently find ourselves.
Keep in mind that if there is no spring election this is what the Parliamentarians have on their plate and if there is to be a spring election then one of these bills may have to cause it, says Jordan.
The government brings in a steady stream of confidence motions before the House. This is highly unusual.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela visited Ottawa in May 1992. The honorary Canadian who helped end apartheid in his country died on Dec. 5 at 95 years old. Governor General David Johnston said, "When history speaks of the very best examples of humanity, we will speak of Nelson Mandela." He's pictured here with former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney.