Back to work

Helena Guergis filed suit. Peter MacKay got married. Stephen Woodworth tried to start a debate about abortion. The Prime Minister appointed seven senators. And Sarah Polley endorsed Peggy Nash.

But let’s start 2012 with Michelle Rempel. Peter O’Neil profiled the tiny, perfect Conservative as a rising star on December 30, but followed that with a pensive blog post the next day.

My story on Calgary MP Michelle Rempel is as much an indictment of Canadian politics as it is a shot in the arm for the rookie Tory. What has caught everyone’s eye is how she calmly, confidently, and assertively handles opposition questions in the House of Commons. She doesn’t appear wooden or nervous, she doesn’t hold a sheet of paper before her eyes and read scripted answers from the prime minister’s office, and she doesn’t get rattled.

Don’t get me wrong. Rempel would be seen as an MP with potential in any era.  And there are some excellent speakers on both sides of the House of Commons. But shouldn’t all politicians, who are paid handsomely … be able to speak publicly? And if they can’t shouldn’t they learn?

For the sake of perspective, Peter digs up a profile he wrote of Stanley Knowles in 1988. And to that I’ll add my interview with Bob Rae from November.