The Backbench Top Ten

One last time before pausing for the summer: our weekly, and wholly arbitrary, ranking of the ten most worthy, or at least entertaining, MPs, excluding the Prime Minister, cabinet members and party leaders. A celebration of all that is great and ridiculous about the House of Commons. Last week’s rankings appear in parentheses.

1. Jack Harris (1)
The ah hoc committee of MPs charged with reviewing Afghan detainee documents this summer that might not’ve happened without him will now, in fact, carry on without him. Irony is a cruel mistress.
2. Michael Chong (2)
3. Maxime Bernier (3)
Surely Mr. Bernier and Mr. Chong could do well touring the country this summer together on a Keeping It Real tour.
4. Siobhan Coady (4)
5. Bob Rae (5)
6. Daniel Paille (9)
One last go between Mr. Paille and the Finance Minister. They might not admit it, but they’ll miss each other these next few months.
7. Mark Holland
At some point, the Liberal public safety and national security critic took ownership of the entire G8/G20 file including all the tantalizing questions about the gazebos, public toilets and other trinkets now dotting the landscape of Muskoka-Parry Sound under the guise of summitry. It’s arguably the best stuff the official opposition’s had to moan about in four years and Mr. Holland’s brand of mocking outrage has proved well-suited to the cause. It’s also probably no coincidence that the Liberal side’s best QP performers are those who never held senior office in a Chretien or Martin cabinet.
8. Francine Lalonde (8)
9. Stephane Dion (-)
Lost amid the debate over the merits of the deal was this: the Liberals have named Stephane Dion as their primary representative on the detainee document committee. He might not be the one you want leading your party, but he’s apparently just the sort you want in a fundamental fight of paramount importance to the nation.
10. Jim Maloway (10)

The final tally: 167,714 words.

Previous rankings: March 12March 19April 3April 10April 25May 1May 9May 16May 23May 30June 6. June 13.