What I can’t understand is, if Peter Van Loan is going to take 29 questions — if it doesn’t matter which Liberal asks which question on which topic with whatever amount of preparation, cleverness, acuity, indignation, majesty, mockery, name it — why do the Liberals still even show up for Question Period?

If PVL and Pierre Poilièvre take the vast majority of questions, then the government is performing algebra by implication, and we can express the equation thusly:

(entire Liberal caucus, including dozens of former and aspirant ministers) = (PVL + Pierre Poilièvre)

I’m just a typist, but I don’t know why the Liberals would want to spend months on end reinforcing that equation. I’m pretty sure that if Stephen Harper were the Liberal leader (work with me here) and he saw the government handing almost all of every Question Period for months on end to two boyos from the middle ranks, then after about five days he would realize it wasn’t going to get better; pull almost his entire front bench out of QP; leave Martha Hall Findlay, Denis Coderre and Navdeep Bains behind to do what they could; and seek other venues to make his points. Send the Rhodes scholars and the leader and Ralph Goodale into debates on bills armed with stemwinders, or into committee meetings, or press theatres, or small towns, or op-ed columns or Youtube. Anyplace where they don’t have to compete for Van Loan’s dubious affections.

Today the Liberals demonstrated that each of them is worth 1/29th of PVL’s time.