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Canadians remember the discussion that Jack Layton initiated on improving decorum and civility in the House. The question now becomes, how are the honourable members living up to their noble words?
I was honoured to have been named the Official Opposition Critic for Seniors Issues in Canada's 41st Parliament. We owe so
All too often, the Conservatives designate a minister with little knowledge of a file to defend it against opposition attacks. Quite often this is done by one of their attack dogs. Other than the present administration, I don't recall that happening under previous Liberal or Conservative governments.
Once upon a time, policy-making was about finding the best ideas to solve a problem. Today, policy process is no longer about finding the best ideas. It is mainly about managing different interest groups, many of whom are in a position to derail a process they don't like.
Ten years later, my thoughts on 9/11 are the same as they were standing in the House of Commons on Sept. 18,2001: "My son put it best: 'We are all just earthlings and we have to learn how to share this rock.'"
1. The NDP's performance as Official Opposition, including its interim leader Nycole Turmel Elevated to Official Opposition
There have been some suggestions that the Liberals and NDP could cooperate in Question Period and this is a valid point. A united strategy could offer them the opportunity to hold the government to account. But any NDP leadership candidate proposing a merger will find out how quickly they lose support.
The great danger now emerging is that if Canadians can no longer be persuaded of the legitimacy of national action, our collective ability to build on what we have in common will gradually, but inevitably, disintegrate.
It looks like we are in for another session of whining from Quebec NDP members, this time over the number of seats Quebec will have in the House of Commons after the next redistribution of seats.
The choice presented between no Senate and a partially reformed Senate, is really not a choice at all. Both options lead to an increasingly dysfunctional and discredited Parliament.