I was invited to participate in the Laurentian University model Parliament on Friday and was really happy to go. Actually Elizabeth May was invited, but being in SGI at the time couldn't go, so I filled in. In a nutshell it was a lot of fun.
My contribution to the day was to speak for one-minute as the Honourable Member of Greenback during Member's statements. That's not much time, so all I did was encourage the students to throw themselves into whatever cause they really believe in regardless of whether or not success even seems possible. This spring 303 Green candidates lost, but in doing so they did give the one who won, Elizabeth May, a much stronger voice in the House of Commons. Being a candidate, or volunteering for anything you believe in, changes you in the process. So win or lose, succeed or fail, you always come out ahead. The next speaker used their time to thank the member from Greenback for coming. That was unexpected and I thought it was a nice touch.
The Green caucus had eight members when I arrived but had nine when I left after two Conservatives crossed the floor, the other going to the NDP. The new Green theatrically stripped off his sweater to reveal a green dress-shirt hidden underneath. A "Stop Harper" sign also made an appearance - the Speaker ruled it out of order, props being against the standing orders.
It was fun to play along.
It was also just a pure pleasure to have a chance to wander around the actual House of Commons without a guide. Do official tours enter the HoC or must they stop at the bar of the house? I'm guessing no tours get behind the benches - which I got to do too. The HoC itself feels small even though it's a large room. This is probably a trick of the eye given how tall the room is. I'm not at all sure how thirty more MPs are going to fit; perhaps the expansion may finally force us to adopt the UK model of unassigned seating and actual benches.
Fun times. I'll definitely do it again if the opportunity comes up.