By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 0 Comments
Boulerice offered no defence of his comments, but he did shoot back at Blaney on Wednesday. “I think Mr. Blaney yesterday, it was the last day to engage in partisan politics and to try and score points like that, with old stories,” said Boulerice in Montreal. “He is the minister who is making the largest cuts in support programs for disabled veterans.”
Conservative MP Erin O’Toole is profoundly saddened.
So perhaps Mr. Boulerice and Mr. O’Toole are in agreement that this shouldn’t have been brought up this week?
Meanwhile, Sun reporter Brigitte Pellerin says Mr. Boulerice didn’t insult soldiers and John Geddes explores the political history of World War I. If this discussion is to continue, it should at least include a debate about the Conscription Crisis.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 4:17 PM - 0 Comments
With 90% of Question Period being oppos. questions methinks @cselley & others doth protest a tad too much about the odd +ve shout out
It is indeed nice to say nice things about others. I’m sure Jim Flaherty appreciated it. Mr. O’Toole is obviously very considerate.
But this morning’s point about the purpose of Question Period still stands and so does last week’s question: Shouldn’t Erin O’Toole have something better to do? Shouldn’t his contribution to Question Period be something more than reciting his party’s talking points and saluting the greatness of the cabinet minister he is nominally questioning?
This practice of lobbing friendly queries is by no means new or unique to this government (see here, for example). But it’s ridiculous. And desperate for change. In fact, it was part of Michael Chong’s proposed QP reforms.
The real problem with Question Period is that members of Parliament have been stripped of the right to ask questions of the government, with the result that members are no longer true participants in Question Period, but mere spectators. Rather than being attentive and potential participants posing questions, many behave as any spectator would, cheering or jeering for their side and against the other.
Until the 1980s, members had the right to rise in the House, catch the eye of the Speaker and ask questions of the government, questions that were driven by the concerns they heard from their constituents the previous weekend when they returned home to their ridings.
The changes that stripped members of the right to spontaneously rise, catch the eye of the Speaker to ask a question were introduced by Jeanne Sauvé. Every day, each party submits their list of approved questioners to the Speaker. The Speaker recognizes only those on the list.
Mr. Chong proposed allotting half of the questions asked each day to backbenchers.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 10:38 AM - 0 Comments
Conservative MP Erin O’Toole’s question for the government yesterday.
According to the compendium of House of Commons procedure, “The right to seek information and the right to hold the Government accountable are recognized as fundamental to our system of parliamentary government” and “One of the principal ways by which Members exercise these rights is by asking questions in the House.” As the current guide to practice and procedure explains, Question Period “is this part of the parliamentary day where the government is held accountable for its administrative policies and the conduct of its Ministers, both individually and collectively.” Or, as Speaker James Jerome once said, “If the essence of Parliament is Government accountability, then surely the essence of accountability is the Question Period in the Canadian House of Commons.”
See previously: Here’s your problem
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 26, 2012 at 9:18 PM - 0 Comments
Welcome to live coverage of tonight’s by-elections in Victoria, Calgary Centre and Durham. Results should start coming in after 10pm when polls close in Victoria. We’ll be here all night (or at least as long as it takes to exhaust whatever drama can be found).
Some numbers by which to measure the night. First, the vote percentages from the 2011 election in each riding.
If you combine the 2011 results for those three ridings, the cumulative total divides like so.
9:45pm. Beyond the obvious (who wins?), some questions for tonight. How low does the Conservative vote go in Calgary Centre? How well does the NDP vote from 2011 hold up? Can the Liberals show improvement? Can the Greens make significant gains? Continue…