By Mitchel Raphael - Friday, January 4, 2013 - 0 Comments
Sitting MPs include a cage fighter, a Karate sensei and a Canadian Forces nurse
As Parliament wound down for 2012 it literally almost came to blows between Government House leader Peter Van Loan (known as PVL on the Hill) and two Opposition members: NDP House leader Nathan Cullen and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair. PVL was upset at Cullen because the NDP attempted to use procedure to delay the budget and force another vote on the bill. PVL came over and told Cullen to never try that again. This is far cry from when Cullen and Van Loan started working together as House leaders and PVL made him a cake to welcome him into his new position. (Van Loan is known to dabble in Martha Stewart recipes).
If tensions continue to boil over once Parliament resumes, and things get physical again, it’s opportune to consider the fighting strengths of all the official national parties. If it comes to a fight on the floor of the House of Commons, here then are the politicians to watch: Continue…
By Nick Taylor-Vaisey - Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 6:03 AM - 0 Comments
We’re all familiar with the riding our Member of Parliament represents—we do live there, after all. But do you know where your MP was born? Many of our elected representatives in the House of Commons represent their hometowns, but dozens were born outside of their ridings, and even outside the country. This map gives you a sense of the Commons’ worldly nature.
MPs are coded by party, and the info bubbles that pop up tell you which riding they represent, when they were born, and their occupations before they took office. Zoom in for a closer look at cities where lots of MPs were born.
Find anything interesting? Comment away. We’ll be watching.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 12:17 AM - 0 Comments
Nestlé Canada held a special reception at The Westin Ottawa for MPs and folks…
Nestlé Canada held a special reception at The Westin Ottawa for MPs and folks on the Hill. The night highlighted some of their products. “You make Häagen-Dazs” was a popular line when people found out Nestlé Canada had the rights to produce it in this country.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, December 16, 2011 at 1:16 PM - 0 Comments
The Ottawa Citizen editorial board challenges MPs to save themselves.
Minority or majority, the constant is the lack of honour and civility in Parliament. What hasn’t changed is the reduction of the role of elected members to bit players in hackneyed political theatre. Every MP, of any party, who acquiesces in this must answer for it to his or her constituents.
The holidays should be a time for every MP to consider this problem and how he or she might contribute to a solution when the House reconvenes. The caucus is ultimately the only source of authority for any party in the House of Commons. MPs should demand a greater role in question period than that of heckler and, occasionally, script-reader.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, July 2, 2010 at 4:08 PM - 11 Comments
More than anything, these narratives may well be important observations on our political culture. Perhaps our politics attracts underdogs. Or maybe we, as citizens, feel more comfortable defining ourselves that way.
The narratives may also indicate that politics is something for which it’s inappropriate to admit ambition, even after the fact. If that’s the case, it’s no wonder that potential candidates don’t generally think about politics, and that they claim to stumble into political life accidentally. This says something about the state of political leadership in Canada.
The Globe editorial board wonders if we don’t need a few more insiders.
By Nicholas Köhler - Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 3:00 PM - 0 Comments
He was an immigrant success, a political star. What happened?
Last week, an email began making the rounds of the Tory BlackBerry circuit. Titled “Laugh of the day,” it consisted of two sentences pulled from an Edmonton Journal story detailing the arrest, on Sept. 11, of former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer, whom police have charged with drunk driving and cocaine possession: “Edmonton MLA Thomas Lukaszuk knew Jaffer well and said he never saw him intoxicated in any way,” ran the excerpt. “ ‘I knew him to be a religious person,’ Lukaszuk said.”
The email’s recipients considered the quote droll because Jaffer, though almost universally loved among parliamentarians of all political stripes, is known to enjoy a drink. “He’s very hard not to like, although everyone acknowledges his shortcomings,” says another. “I think many people would say Rahim was the life of the party,” says Calgary Tory MP Rob Anders, a long-time colleague. Continue…
By Andrew Potter - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 1:20 PM - 24 Comments
To call question period a zoo would be an insult to the relative civility of wild animals
Apart from sex, the only realm of human achievement where ignorance and inexperience are widely seen as virtues is politics. Sarah Palin is only the most notorious recent example of the phenomenon; the “vote for me, I have no experience” gambit succeeds with remarkable frequency, which speaks volumes about public attitudes toward the political process and politicians. Politics is seen as a profession in the same sense that prostitution is, practised only by people of highly suspect moral character.
Canadian politicians are no exception, and the merits of this judgment are clearest in this country in the daily disgrace known as question period. To call question period a zoo would be an insult to the relative civility and good temperament of wild animals; one suspects that the occasional parleys between Bloods and Crips in South Central Los Angeles are less partisan and hostile affairs.