“This is Question Period, not Answer Period.” Keith Beardsley on the Tipping Point of Parliament – Ottawa Ontario – April 24, 2010

Cornwall ON – Keith Beardsley has written a new piece on the deterioration of Parliament and how it behaves and the impact on our political system and perception created with the Canadian public.  It’s some interesting and well thought out reading.

I’ve talked a lot with people lately about the apathy in Canadian politics and it’s this type of gutter fighting that has led to a lot of the apathy.   There’s nothing wrong with the odd foot to the head; but at the end of the day it can’t be the norm.


For years Canadians have watched the slow decline of Parliament. Today, MPs are known more for the trouble they cause in Question Period, than the good work they do in Committee. Shouting across the aisle at your opponents gets you the media clip. A careful well thought out question does not.

Everyone complains about the diminished role of MPs, all parties promise to fix things and of course they never do. It really boils down to one thing, the pursuit of power and the search for the almighty news clip.

Sometime next week the Speaker will rule on the MPs, IE Parliament’s demand for the Afghanistan documents. It will be interesting to watch to see who comes out the winner; the Government or Parliament. Either way a tipping point for Canada’s elected representatives will have been reached.

To read more of Keith Beardsley’s work check out his website ATory01.

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  1. It is indeed time for the rise of a new party. The Canadian Organization to Manage Internal Chaos (COMIC) with Rick Mercer as leader would gain control of the House of Commons even if they have to smack everyone with a nerf bat until they behave.

  2. Significant deterioration since 2006. Since then, the government of the day, which should lead by example in upholding and promoting the traditional Canadian values of decency, fairness, and tolerance have done the opposite….to the point that they are disgracing our country. Since then, the PM has morphed into the Propaganda Minister, the PMO into the Propaganda Management Office, and government MPs, mimicking their leader, into a pack of nasty, brutish noise-makers. The contagion spreads and you have a toxic Parliament. As Reg implies, time for a thorough House-cleaning.

  3. Good idea, let’s start over. Jamie for President!

  4. I think it goes back before 2006 (Liberals were in power for part of 2006 too). As soon as someone realized soundbites will get air time, working for the party trumped working for Canada.

  5. Good point, Eric, and the Harper gang have taken full advantage for the worse. In other words, and to paraphrase, “They had an option, sir.” Coming in on a platform of Transparency and Accountability, they could have taken the high road and lifted democratic debate. Instead, they went straight to the gutter…where things sit today.

  6. The one soundbite I remember from the Paul Martin / Jack Layton / Stephen Harper debate, was Paul saying to Jack, ” have your handlers told you to just keep talking?” or a variation of that.

    Some of this is us, waiting to be told what is going on, and some is the media using lazy journalism, so are the politicians just giving us the tabloid edition we eat up?

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