Nathan Cullen, who recently ran for the leadership of the New Democratic Party in Canada and lost, proposed tougher authority for the Speaker of Canada’s House of Commons (our version of Congress for my American friends) to clamp down on what can only be described as unruly, adolescent behaviour.
I agree with him even though I don’t support the NDP or most of its policies. Civility and professional conduct should transcend party politics. Instead, we are treated to endless foolishness. The opposition parties ask long rambling questions designed to embarrass the government while for it’s part, the government replies with obsequious responses that seldom have anything to do with the original question. The members of each party applaud when their member asks a question and shout and jeer at the person from the other party who is speaking.
It’s a goon show, not the epitome of democracy at work. Here’s a sample.
It is incredible that a sitting prime minister in this day and age would actually have the stones to accuse the leader of a political party that didn’t exist before 1961 of not supporting the war against Hitler.
To be fair, Canada’s parliamentary system unlike the American House of Representatives, is base on the British Parliament where much the same kind of approach is taken. In some ways I guess, it’s almost politically genetic. Other democracies in Europe such as France are either based on a republican model much like that in America while other countries, like Italy, tend to follow the parliamentary approach. Strangely, the parliamentary model tends to be the more disruptive and untruly.
I’ve asked Scottish comedian Danny Bhoy to provide some context on European parliaments.
Politicians worldwide don’t seem to understand that representing the people is a privilege and a responsibility. For whatever reasons, they seem to caught up in party bias and self-importance to the point where dignity, respect and civility are completely ignored.
Consider this final clip from the Taiwanese parliament. It looks more like a fracas at a soccer match than political leadership.
In the end, what it comes down to for me is that it is becoming more and more difficult to take politicians seriously, let alone have much respect for them. They have devastated our economies, lied to us at election time and in some cases even stolen from us. They conduct themselves like they are a law unto themselves with little regard or respect for the people who have elected them or the institutions in which they represent us.
Under those circumstances, it’s difficult to believe they would expect us to respect them in return and yet…..too many still do and until that changes….nothing else will.