I, for one, love the Parliamentary Hansard. I know that only myself and a few clerks read it, and most MPs probably don’t realize that the public can see it (else they might watch what they say more closely). Yet the Hansard revealed a side splitting occurrence, which made me wonder if I wasn’t reading a script for This Hour Has Twenty Two Minutes!
During a discussion I had earlier this year with a former Liberal candidate, she noted that the Conservative incumbent she ran against read from a Tory script. At first, I thought this might just be a trait of that particular MP. However, after reading Alison and Loat’s Tragedy in the Commons, I found that the PMO and Party Leaders had a tendency to send out pre-approved statements for their caucus members to present in the House of Commons! This compliments the trend of limiting the independence of MPs, but we’d hope that the provided statements wouldn’t all be the same. Really, why would you need to repeat the same phrase over and over? You’ll sound like a broken record. Maybe that’s what leaders, certainly Stephen Harper, want of their MPs.
Last week Ryan Leaf, Member of Parliament for Yukon, had this to say during his Member’s statement:
Mr. Speaker, there are dark and dangerous corners in the world that we live in, and protecting Canadians from barbaric terrorists is a fundamental responsibility of any government.
Rather than take a stand when an important question on national security was posed to him, the leader of the Liberal Party said, “next question”. He turned his tail and ran. We already know he thinks revoking passports from Canadian terrorists is an affront to Canadian values. We know the Liberal member for Kingston and the Islands sees the light and beauty inside of ISIL terrorists. We also know the Liberal member for Westmount—Ville-Marie thinks convicted terrorists should remain Canadian.
With radical and out-of-touch positions like these on important issues of national security, it is no wonder the Liberals do not want to come clean on what their position is. On important issue after important issue, the Liberal leader is in over his head.
A little harsh, perhaps, but a statement nevertheless made on Friday September 19th. Incidentally, that was the day before Roxanne James, the MP for Scarborough Centre had this to say:
Mr. Speaker, in the dark and dangerous world in which we find ourselves, the first duty of any government is to keep law-abiding Canadians safe from those who wish to do us harm. That is exactly what our Conservative government is doing. We passed the Combating Terrorism Act to crack down on radicals who travel overseas to commit horrific acts of terrorism. We also passed the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act to allow us to strip citizenship from anyone who is caught fighting against the Canadian Armed Forces.
Members should contrast this with the leader of the Liberal Party, who opposes taking away passports from terrorists, claiming that it is an affront to Canadian values. This is after he tried to make excuses for the terrorists who bombed the Boston Marathon.
The member for Kingston and the Islands sees beauty and light inside the Islamic state terrorists who brutally murdered journalists.
On the issue of national security, it is clear that the Liberal Party is in way over its head.
Hmmm. Avoiding important questions, Tories doing a great job, Liberal leader visited mosque, Liberals support Islamic extremism, Kingston and the Islands, and, last but not least, the tired, “he’s in over his head.” Fairly similar, right? It’s not quite word for word, but the basics are all there. The performance sounds rather like an actor who has forgotten their lines and must ad lib a bit. It’s the speaker’s words, but the Conservative Party’s voice.
Ms. James gave a similar statement on Monday, September 15th (the day Parliament returned).
The first speech James gave was slightly different; it didn’t include the reference to the Honourable Member for Kingston and the Islands. Grasping at straws am I? Circumstantial evidence? Nothing wrong with what they said? Regardless, I’m sure you can agree that the members of the Conservative Party need to pump some originality into their statements and speeches. When a record is broken, you usually throw it out.