If they were to make a movie about Canada today, what do you think it would be like?
Wide vistas, majestic mountains, roaring surf, hard working industrious people struggling to make ends meet, you get the idea. It would probably look beautiful and be as boring as all get out.
OK, it would probably have hockey and nature trails and some beer drinking too, but outside of Canada it probably wouldn’t do well.
What if we decided to make the movie about the House of Commons?
What do you think? A low brow comedy, a door slamming farce?
Originally I thought it would be great if we could dig up Peter Sellers and have him play both the PM and the Leader of the Opposition. He’d kill it. This is a man who could probably make the phone book (we still have those right?) hilarious.
But then again, after last week we’d probably be better off with the Pythons of the Monty variety.
Imagine if you will, the straight man stands and asks a sensible question… maybe something like “We have Canadian Soldiers currently in Iraq for 30 days, when does the 30 days end?”
And then we’d have the funny guy stand up and say “
He’s pining for the” “We
like Israel, Israel is good! You don’t
like Israel! Neener neener!”
And then the straight man could get up again and ask “Is this the right room for an argument?”
And the funny guy would retort “We like Israel, Israel is good! You don’t like Israel! Neener neener!”
Not very funny, but it’s what supposedly passes as the thrust and parry of Question Period in the House of Commons these days, and we thought DDM was a pain to our ears. Paul Calandra takes the cake, or should that be pie as in pizza pie.
It is pretty sad, don’t you think. I mean we pay these guys a pretty good chunk of change to sit in the House and spout nonsense and 24% of us clap like crazy! What in the name of Democracy is going on?
If Paul Martin or Jean Chretien had treated Stephen Harper to this kind of nonsense everybody would be screaming from the rooftops. Steve would be in front of every microphone in Canada carrying on how the Liberal Government refuses to answer the most direct of questions and that they use an ill informed buffoon whose only claim to fame is that he saw his Daddy fire someone but somehow still managed to get in as an MP to spout irrelevant rhetoric about something else altogether.
Instead, Tom Mulcair turns to the Speaker of the House and pretty much says “You can take off the striped shirt, we can all see the blue sweater vest underneath it.”
Believe it or not there are rules governing Question Period. Here’s a snippet from the government website.
The same government website also says:
According to practice, replies are to be as brief as possible, to deal with the subject matter raised and to be phrased in language that does not provoke disorder in the House.
I’d suggest that Paul Calandra misses out on all three points.
Not that non-answers are a new thing. The Right Honourable Herb Gray managed to raise the non-answer to an art form. Calandra reduces it to its lowest form. When Herb Gray rose in response to a question, you thought that you received a real answer, but when you actually looked at it, you had nothing, but it sounded so good.
With Calandra, you get a headache and a twinge of nausea while he excitedly butchers his single talking point. A band saw cutting galvanized tin comes to mind.
What it boils down to for me is who in the name of Heaven voted for these guys?
Look, when I first heard that our Forces were going to Iraq to be advisers, the first thing that popped into my head was Vietnam. The US sent their boys there to be “advisers” and look how well that turned out. It’s been 40 years since the end of that conflict and the scars in the US are still tender.
Tom Mulcair raises a valid question. How many and how long?
The response from the government is a sneering “Ha Ha, we’re in charge and you’re not.”
But then again, why should they care. They make enough to ensure their kids will be in University until they are too old for conscription. I doubt they’ll be lining up to enlist.
Nope, I don’t think even the Pythons could make this funny, even if they did institute a Ministry of Funny Walks.
Maybe we could get a cross between Ralph Wiggum and Nelson Muntz to play Calandra? Nah, still won’t work.