The Speaker of the House, Peter Milliken, decided to admonish MP's yesterday for what he terms is their descent,
into virtual anarchy, lawlessness and crisis.
Not surprisingly, each party has their own interpretation of what his remarks meant but it's fair to say that when 3 out of 4 political parties agree with each other as to what is going on, a pretty clear picture starts to develop.
Is that to say that the 3 opposition parties have been angels? No, but to that I would say you can only put up with so much before you react.
I've spoken about the antics that have gone on in committee more than once on this blog, but it is really out of control now. Considering that is where the work of the country is meant to get done, this dysfunction should be concerning to all.
One of the most concerning to me is the Justice Committee and the fact that it's Chair Art Hanger has walked out of 2 meetings, refusing to uphold democracy and hold a vote, then proceeded to cancel the next meeting. The Procedures Committee is of concern too. Having put up with a 7 month phony filibuster, Confidence in the Chair was lost. A new one was voted in (albeit against his will, so an example of the opposition pushing back), and as a result he's not scheduled the next meeting. The Environment Committee has been filibustered, but it does get some work done in terms of hearing witnesses.
It's been mentioned that in addition to the 'dirty tricks manual', the government has inserted parliamentary secretaries on committee which is taking direction from the PMO. I have no way of knowing whether or not that is true, but it certainly is plausible.
I don't personally think this situation will be resolved before an election. Speaker Milliken said tsk, tsk, but that is generally his stance on these issues. That's not to say that he minced his words, but he provided no specific guidance.
So, expect more fireworks when parliament returns. Let's hope an opportunity to win an election presents itself soon because until then, it's Kindergarten Kommittee Time on the Hill.
All of that said, I want to give credit where it is due. While it would seem unlikely that I'd agree with Art Hanger on anything, in this case I say kudos to him.