Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Say it ain't so, smiling Jack! Are you really the least civil MP in Parliament? 
That's what the researchers concluded after analyzing the questions and answers of MPs who rose to say something in the House of Commons at least 50 times in the last session. The higher the score, the more "civil" the tone of the parliamentarian; Jack Layton scored a 39, the lowest score of the bunch.
I'm no fan of the highly uncivil heckling and name-calling that goes on in Parliament, and no defender of Jack Layton. But it seems to me these times call for a little incivility when questioning government, so I won't hold his low score against him.
Then again, maybe I'm biased. I notice that the database where all Post Media newspaper stories are archived now includes a measurement of how many stories pulled up in a particular search are positive, negative or neutral. Search on my columns for the past year and you'll see that the Tone Gods have deemed that my negative pieces outstripped my positive ones two to one. (Fortunately, adding in the "neutrals" balances things out.)
But is that an indicator of incivility, or frustration? Sometimes - OK, most times - a girl just has to express a little outrage. Be nice when you can, Jack, but keep sticking it to 'em when you need to.


Dave Killion said...

Quite right! I always worry when political types start complaining about civility, because I know they're thinking a little regulation might be in order. As if civility is more important than free speech!

Anonymous said...

Of course Harper wants civility in government....now.

And silly Jack and Elizabeth think they'll be leading the way. Yah, right.

What fools they be.