Idea alert

From Peter Milliken’s conversation with John Geddes, the former Speaker suggests a possible punishment for unparliamentary behaviour.

Q: But why not throw out MPs more often when they get out of line?

A: Before I was Speaker, I said one of the problems with this practice of giving the Speaker the power to throw a guy out is that he’s out of the chamber for a day. No rights or privileges suspended. He gets paid. He can fly to Vancouver. He can go to work in his office. He can go to caucus meetings. He can go and have a press conference in the foyer.

Q: What would be a better punishment?

A: My urging years ago, when I was not Speaker, was the guy should be thrown out of the Parliament Buildings, not allowed in for the rest of the day. All travelling privileges suspended and his pay docked for the day. Then the guy would start listening to what the Speaker says. Otherwise, you just make a saint of the person. He can hold a press conference and say, I called the prime minister a liar, or whatever the offence was, and I was right. Blah, blah, blah. He’ll get more media coverage if the Speaker threw him out. It’s not a very effective penalty.