The Backbench Top Ten

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. Michael Chong (3)
Has any MP in recent memory been so successful at rallying so many to his particular cause? The key is finding a problem that everyone can blame someone else for. All are agreed, or at least want to be seen agreeing, that QP is a problem, but while the government can blame the opposition, the opposition can blame the government; while the press gallery blames the politicians, the politicians blame the press gallery. This mutually assured shame might be enough to push reform through.
2. Jack Harris (3)
There are two reasons to believe the Afghan detainee document review committee will amount to something. First, the stubborn presence of Stephane Dion. Second, the spectre of Jack Harris being proven right about the committee’s futility. That they would despise the latter should ensure the Liberals stay on task.
3. Maxime Bernier (1)
Perhaps from here on government members should consider simply shrugging and running in the other direction when asked to comment on the census decision.
4. Scott Brison (5)

5. Candice Hoeppner (4)
6. Mark Holland (7)
Sticking up for prison farming programs—not the most attractive of causes—surely takes a certain kind of guts.
7. Daniel Paille (6)

8. Marc Garneau (8)
9. Bruce Hyer (-)
This is a legitimately intriguing suggestion.
10. Pat Martin (10)

Previous rankings: March 12March 19April 3April 10April 25May 1May 9May 16May 23May 30June 6June 13June 20September 26. October 3.

(Programming note: From now on, MP links will direct to Open Parliament‘s profile pages, which chart media mentions and House activity—and even allow you to set-up email alerts that notify you whenever a member speaks in the Commons.)

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