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RSS Feeds`Show business for ugly peopleŽ: ex-MPs look back at days on Hill
(The Star Travel)


12 june 2018 18:35:19

`Show business for ugly peopleŽ: ex-MPs look back at days on Hill
(The Star Travel)

They once held the country’s most powerful positions but after exiting the House of Commons in the last election these 54 MPs aren’t holding back on the state of parliamentary democracy.It’s “show business for ugly people,” as one former politician put it.On Tuesday the Samara Centre for Democracy, a charitable advocacy group, released Flip the Script, a report detailing exit interviews conducted with former politicians in 2017, two years after they lost or resigned their seats.In it, ex-MPs candidly complain heavy-handed, controlling party leaders and their top, unelected staffers eroded their ability to do the work they were elected to do. “Representative democracy is in trouble,” the report reads. “Members of Parliament have been drifting away for decades from the essential work citizens require of them — of legislation, representation and scrutiny. It’s getting worse.”Canadians may be more familiar with the hyper-partisan nature of Question Period, but partisan tentacles have reached areas of Parliament where “constructive work used to happen,” the report said. For some former MPs, parliamentary committees had become scripted and choreographed, private members’ bills were considered “empty exercises” and meaningful debate was limited. Even punctuation turned partisan. A former Tory then serving in the government backbenches, “saw red” during clause-by-clause study of draft legislation at committee when an opposition member’s proposed amendment to fix a simple grammar mistake was shot down. “(W)e didn’t vote in favour of their amendment. The rationale I got from the people at committee was, ‘We don’t want to give them the win.’ I thought, ‘Yes, I can see the press release now: NDP adds a comma to legislation,’” the former MP said. Committees are where MPs who aren’t in cabinet spend the majorit ...
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