All Heckling in Parliament Should Stop
(UPDATE: Elizabeth has written a new blog about the heckling - and lack of debate about climate change in the House. It's worth a read).
Under the leadership of Stephen Harper I don't expect the Conservative caucus to come around anytime soon on the topic of heckling.
Which is too bad - what I know of Michael Chong makes me think there are some good eggs in that rotten basket.
(UPDATE: Michael Chong has voted yeah on the M312 'abortion' motion. I like his work on fixing Question Period, but that that yeah vote demotes him from 'good egg' status for me)
My suggestion to Mr. Mulcair, via my local MP, would be for the NDP to accept hard questions without the derision and heckling we've come to expect from the current government (and Liberal governments before them). Heckling doesn't make anyone stronger. It just leads Canadians to conclude everyone in the House of Commons is stupid.
And that lets smart people like Stephen Harper manipulate that sense of stupidity for their own gain. Lets let smarts win from here on in, k?
Hello Mr. Dewar,
I would like to bring up the topic of heckling in the House of Commons.
On Thursday Elizabeth May was interrupted by members of the NDP caucus during Question Period while asking a fair question. As is her long standing custom she sat down so the Speaker would bring the house to order and allow her to continue. Unfortunately the Speaker, perhaps entirely exhausted with heckling as well, erred and recognized the Leader of the Official Opposition instead. Hansard will never know the full substance of Ms. May's question.
While this was the Speaker's procedural error, the root cause was the NDP caucus heckling during Elizabeth May's limited Question Period opportunity. If the question was unfair or ill-framed in some way I trust Mr. Mulcair has the capacity to deal with it. Sadly, heckling from a cheering section dumbs down the House of Commons and erodes the ability of smart MPs, of any party, from standing tall. Since he never heard the full question, Hansard will never know the full calibre of Mr. Mulcair's response.
I do not want to spend anymore time on this. It pains me to think how much Conservative MPs would enjoy watching Green supporters attempt to tear down the NDP for unparliamentary behaviour. We know who the real enemy to democracy is. We know who the real enemy to the environment is. We shouldn't get distracted.
Nonetheless, Ms. May was asking a question and got heckled, so here we are. Perhaps this smarts the most because it came from a friend and not the enemy.
As my local MP I hope you'll have a private word with your caucus and ensure this doesn't happen again. Ms. May asks good questions. Nothing would please me more than to hear intelligent answers from Mr. Mulcair.