BTC: The coup shall be an altogether polite one

This apparently being Earnestness Week at The Commons, we turn once more to Glen Pearson. Seems the Liberal is agitating for something of a rebel uprising.

Well, all right, not entirely. Here’s how he explains it.


“How does one maintain his or her own inner identity in the turmoil and power playing that come part and parcel with life in Ottawa?  It’s a question that doesn’t normally come to mind but the recent attention of this issue raised by the recent Maclean’s article has prompted numerous responses from other members of parliament confessing to struggling with such realities.

“Some expressed great love for their own spouses and families and yet felt the sharing of such sentiments seemed out of place in parliamentary circles.  A couple of others voiced the desire to actually speak out about the lack of decency in the present House activities but worried of the fallout from their own party leadership…

“This particular parliamentary session could reach for a higher level and perhaps find a certain modicum of success only when we permit that inner struggle within to find outward expression, even if it results in a certain political loss.  In the end it’s a test of our political legitimacy and authenticity, and the experience of the last week has taught me that there are many in this place who serve for all the best reasons. However, it’s time for us to speak up.  In failing to do so, we not only fail ourselves but all those whose witnessed struggle taught us to be caring individuals in the first place.  It’s time we showed up.”

I’ve no idea with whom Glen has been speaking. But the notion that a bunch of MPs, united in their not being John Baird, might express an opinion on the subject or even get together to discuss the state of political affairs in Ottawa, is at least an intriguing one. 


The suggestion that they would face “fallout” for their speaking out is no doubt a legitimate fear. But it’s also an unreasonable threat. Indeed, any MP should welcome the opportunity to convene a press conference to report that he or she has been punished by the party for daring to publicly express dissatisfaction with the ways of this 39th Parliament. (And is it just this writer’s imagination, or has every prospective political leader of the last century promised, at one time or another, greater independence for MPs anyway?)

An informal grouping of some sort—The Responsible Democratic Caucus, to offer one silly name—could make for one of the more entertaining multi-partisan efforts this place has seen in sometime. And needn’t merely be an organized whine about decorum and decency and other such nonsense. It could, one imagines, even seek to find issues and policies that enjoy some cross-party support.

Or so an observer could wonder.

Anyway. Back to the fight.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.