Meet your emancipated Member.

It is long overdue. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is attempting to free the slaves. These are not your traditional type of slaves. After all, they are paid $160,000 plus per year as Members of Parliament. They are the ones controlled and directed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. They are Harper’s Conservative backbenchers in Parliament. Justin wants these poor downtrodden Members to have a voice in Parliament.

It is all very Machiavellian. The Liberal Leader thinks Canadians should hear how Members think and how they represent them in Parliament. He has proposed a motion that will ensure that every MP will be given time in Parliament to speak out about the concerns of their constituents. Trudeau is defying Harper to stand up in the House of Commons and say to his backbenchers that he will not let them speak out. Harper and Trudeau both know that it will open Pandora’s Box for the different factions within the Conservative Members.

Principal among these freed factions will be the religious zealots who make up a strong group in Harper’s backbenchers and some of his Cabinet. The first issue that this group will bring up, when freed, is abortion. Harper has prevented this until now by refusing to let some of the louder Right-to-Life Members to speak. Maybe they will also speak out to return capital punishment.

Another group will be the Libertarians in the Conservative Party. These people are extremists who demand small government, small taxation, and an every man for himself business environment. This group includes those who convinced Harper to put an end to the long-gun registry, so they are not without some influence.

And then there are the few old-fashioned, socially conscious Conservatives who are appalled at Harper’s cut and slash approach to the federal civil service and social programs. They could do serious damage to the Harper government if they were allowed to speak out.

That leaves another major category of Conservative MPs. They are the ones like Babel’s MP. How they got to Ottawa is an embarrassment for all concerned. They have nothing to contribute and nothing to say. To stand to read prepared texts on behalf of different Ministers is not representing your constituents. Trudeau thinks that voters should also have an opportunity to hear and assess these MPs.

The Conservatives have stalled any debate on this motion until next Wednesday. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Harper weasels his way out of this possibility.


Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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