By now every saw the video. The young, genial Prime Minister crosses the floor of the House of Commons, grabs an M.P. by the arm, and leads him back to his seat elbowing a second female M.P. in the chest.
What few people are paying much attention to is what happened before. The Liberals presented what they’re calling “motion 6.” It’s a motion giving Liberal Ministers the power to extend sitting hours in the house until a Minister or parliamentary secretary adjourned debate. This would allow the party to fully control the legislative agenda.
“How is this different from what Stephen Harper pulled?” An interesting question. As far as I can tell Harper and the Conservatives used a motion for what’s known as “closure.” It had to be presented by a Minister, there was debate and a vote on it. The speaker made the final decision. The Liberals basically want to cut out the middle-man and give all this power to the ministers.
So the opposition parties were understandably pissed. They viewed it as the government taking away their right to speak, which it was. They were blocking legislation, and generally making life difficult for the Liberals for a few weeks beforehand. It’s easy to see how tempers got to that point.
It surprises me Trudeau would try something like this so early in his mandate. This is a guy who preached change, and who said he wanted to do things differently and give people a voice. Apparently not when it threatens his legislative agenda.