Monday, November 21, 2011

Is There Anything More Useless Than A MP?

I support the Liberal seat distribution plan, if only because it is the only presentation that doesn't increase the number of MP's, an occupation which is increasingly useless, redundant and downright unnecessary.

If you're a Conservative MP, you're not allowed to speak freely, debate ideas or act in any fashion without approval from the strongman. If you're an Opposition MP, your questions are feed to you from the halls, you react with sound and fury, but you are essentially powerless, relegated to constituency work, rather than truly participating in democracy. Oh, of course, all that great work in Committee, which is essentially a pat on the head scenario, because majority rules, and those rules don't originate in those rooms.

What we really have in Canada, is a Prime Minister who more resembles a totalitarian dictator. The Prime Minister, and his team of unelected hacks, pick the Cabinet, who are really just extensions of PMO policy choices. Government MP's are feed their talking points, told their direction, should they divert in anyway they face sanction. In reality, these people just occupy seats, their true powerbase is so miniscule it doesn't deserve serious consideration. How Canada approaches the world, how Canada deals with the economy, the environment, social issues, etc, all of it resides with a small cadre of people, of which only one is a byproduct of democracy. The sad part, that is the reality for MP's elected from the government side, slap a "Opposition" label on an MP and futility takes on new meaning.

Yes, there are exceptions, a private member's bill here and there, but again there is still vote direction from the top, in many cases the true inspiration. MP's toe the party line, a line determined outside of democratic manifestations, and should they go "solo", they will be ostracized, this or that "taken away", rendered even more useless for showing any sense of independance.

Of course, MP's have more individual power in a minority, but not really, in that all decisions and emphasis is still a top down affair. With that now cemented reality in mind, any proposal which doesn't ADD more empty vessels is the preferred option. There is a certain irony today, as I read the Conservatives look to "push" through their seat distribution Bill. "Push", as in minds have been made up, the PMO has decided, so stand up Conbot MP's, get this thing passed, as for you Opposition MP's, it doesn't matter. More succinctly, a Bill to add "fairer" representation in Parliament is about to steamroll over Parliament, think about it.

The title is harsh, of COURSE MP's do many important things, particularly in their ridings, where they actually can assist people. However, when it comes to Ottawa, their supposed main emphasis, an MP in the sense of democratic representative is a intellectual farce of the highest order. Save the cash, save further dilution of already marginal influence, the Liberal plan addresses regional inequalities without the spectre of more paper tigers populating Ottawa. And, of course, the Liberal plan will receive no proper airing or debate, and isn't that the point really...

11 comments:

Rick Barnes said...

It is a disgrace. MPs do not have any use in Parliament except to vote for or against something, as directed.

They could save money, leave all MPs at home and give them an app on their blackberry to vote. The APP would protect Conservative MPs from making the wrong choice.

For Parliament to work well, we need debate to happen, we need committees to have time to debate and study.

It seems that everything was decided and now the seals need only stand when directed.

Seriously, give them an App and we can save a ton of money on hotels, airlines and meals.

Way Way Up said...

I'd definitely like to see he MPs now being able to do their jobs more effectively and then perhaps add in a few more to correct the imbalance. My own riding here stands the chance of being split in two. As it stands now we have roughly the same population as PEI but have our single MP instead of 4.

DL said...

Believe it or not I agree with the Liberal proposal on seats - to a point. I have been arguing ad nauseum that the current seat levels are not as frozen as we think and that some seats could be removed from NL, NS, MB and SK without conflicting with the "senate clause". But it seems that cutting back seats from Quebec is much dicier and much more of a constitutional grey area - and realistically could not be done without a constitutional nightmare and a bloodbath in the Quebec media etc...so if you just get rid of a few seats from NL (1), NS (1), MB (2) and SK (2) - you only have six seats to give to AB, BC and ON and that isn't nearly enough to correct how grossly under-represented those provinces are right now compared to their populations. So - back to the drawing board.

Steve said...

With you 100%

Anyong said...

Is There Anything More Useless Than An MP? Not a MP.

Calivancouver said...

a Canadian f-35...

how about the logic that if there more MPs that they would actually be less useless. In numbers, they would be harder for the PMO to keep track of, and the rewards and punishments available for the PMO to maintain discipline, such as ministries and campaign support, would have to be spread more thin. Thus, the incentives for MPs to get in line would be notably reduced, like in the UK, where backbench rebellions are not uncommon, and MPs speaking out happens quite frequently

Way Way Up said...

Is there anything more useless than an MP?

An Alberta Liberal for sure.

Fred from BC said...

I support the Liberal seat distribution plan, if only because it is the only presentation that doesn't increase the number of MP's, an occupation which is increasingly useless, redundant and downright unnecessary.


So you support taking seats away from PEI, then? They have 4 MPs where they should have only 1...

Way Way Up said...

Prince Edward Island, population 141 000= 4 MP's
(1 MP/35 250 residents)

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (including Fort McMurray) population 103 000= 1 MP

Windsor, Ontario, population 216 473 = 2 MP's (1 MP/54 118 residents)

True, all these people are not of voting age and sure not all of the ones that are will cast a ballot, but it seems to me that something is a little off kilter.

Not to disparage PEI in anyway (I'd love to retire there) but it does provide for an interesting comparison.

sharonapple88 said...

An Alberta Liberal for sure.

In retort, I give you Rob "Nap Time" Anders, Conservative MP for Calgary West.

marie said...

Is there anything more useless than an MP?

The whole MP's in the cons government. They are so out of their league its pathetic and actually quite funny listening to them most of the time.

I believe a grade 3 class would sound a lot more intelligent and have the knowledge to be using common sense before opening their mouths. They would at the very least have done their homework on the topics.