Friday, September 26, 2014
Why the Con Speaker Andrew Scheer Should Resign
Ever since Andrew Scheer was appointed Speaker he has presided over the slow death of Canada's Parliament.
He has allowed his Cons to turn it into a fascist circus. He has allowed them to get away with not answering questions, and to make a mockery out of our democracy.
The way he allowed the Paul Calandra to answer Tom Mulcair's questions about Iraq the other day with a ranting rave about Israel, and then punished Mulcair for complaining was simply outrageous.
He has allowed it to become as Michael Den Tandt writes, nothing less a banquet of idiocy.
If any comfort at all can be drawn from the banquet of idiocy that Question Period has become on Speaker Andrew Scheer’s watch, it is this: By granting discourtesy, disrespect and outright stupidity free rein, he allows the people who pay for it all to see, and to judge.
And his claim that he doesn't have the authority to decide whether a question has been answered because “that is why it is called question period, not answer period,”
is utterly absurd.
Because that would that allow Con clowns like Paul Calandra to continue to turn the proceedings into a farce....
First, by this logic, it now becomes acceptable for a government MP to say anything at all in Question Period. Calandra could, when confronted with an opposition question, begin chanting in ancient Greek. He could speak in Sanskrit, or in tongues; he could say “Lalalalalalalala” while plugging his ears, the way kids do. He could read his grocery list. He could recite the ageless “To be or not to be” soliloquy from Hamlet.
Like he has done so many times before...
And by failing to rein him in, and impose some sort of democratic order, Scheer is not doing his job.
The Speaker’s job, in Question Period, is to preside. He can’t do that if he allows inanity to prevail utterly, making a mockery of the very institution in which he sits.
And as Paul McLeod points out, that's in addition to all his other failings.
As the House’s referee, it is the Speaker’s job to interpret and enforce many obscure rules. Scheer is a soft-spoken, amiable and utterly likable guy. And what he has allowed to happen under his watch is a travesty.
Like the way so many of his dubious rulings always seem to favour the government.
Back in June of 2012, Irwin Cotler, the Liberal MP for Mount Royal in Quebec, tabled a written question to the Finance Department about who it consulted for the budget. The response Cotler got was a glib reply of “countless” organizations. “If this were allowed as a response, it would make a mockery of our written question process,” said Cotler. But Scheer struck down his complaint.
That same month, he struck down a point of order from Green Leader Elizabeth May, who wanted to split the government’s massive omnibus budget bill. The Speaker ruled the government can throw whatever it wants into one massive piece of legislation, regardless of whether the sections are related.
Or as I pointed out the other night, the way he always seems to sound like a Con robot...
Or his master's voice.
Because he may be a baby face Speaker, but he is a Con and a religious fanatic, and the way he refused to allow a vote on transgender rights the other day was for me the final straw.
On Monday, the Speaker wouldn’t even allow a vote on hate crimes protection for transgender people because, technically, the House would be repeating itself. The House had already approved this policy, but it is stalled in the Senate.
So Randall Garrison, the NDP MP for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, tried another route: adding it to the government’s omnibus cyberbullying bill. But Conservative MPs voted that down during committee study and Scheer ruled that an open vote would duplicate the work of the committee. The Speaker could have allowed a vote using an “exceptional significance” exemption, but he deemed the matter unworthy.
Because when the Speaker of the House of Commons deems the human rights of some Canadians unworthy, it really is the limit.
Parliament has become a sideshow. If the Paul Calandras of the world refuse to act like adults, Canada needs a Speaker who will force them to. If Scheer doesn’t want to be that person, he should resign and let someone else be the saviour of common sense.
He is clearly not up to the job.
He is failing to protect our democracy.
He has sat on his throne long enough.
And he really is good to GO...
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