Christopher Radojewski | Fulcrum Contributor
EVERY GOOD BOSS knows the importance of ensuring their employees do a good job, whether it’s washing dishes or making decisions about a country. Yet we Canadians seem to let the 308 employees we pay to represent us get away with a lot of stupidity.
If you observe your member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons, you may notice he or she is not the best employee. There are those who are very good at their job, but for the most part, this national company appears very disjointed and stagnant.
Many students just came back from working at seasonal, part-time, and co-op positions this summer. The paycheques we receive help cover food and rent and ensure there is always toilet paper in the bathroom cabinet. Therefore, the student employee is professional, polite, and productive, because behaving otherwise may lead to consequences as severe as termination. So when an MP doesn’t go to work with the same mindset the student employee does, I wonder two things: How does anything get done, and why is nobody holding their MP accountable?
Last year was a rough year for MP behaviour, too. Heckling was at a high, and profanity like “fuck” and “shit” invaded the Legislature—a place where the most important decisions for the country are made. At times, MPs were less effective than the McDonald’s crew bringing fries to the drive-thru window.
Thankfully, Canadians still have a few all-stars on their team. The speaker and whips of the House of Commons try to maintain discipline and respect in this usually highly regarded institution. Andrew Scheer, Gordon O’Connor, Nycole Turmel, and Judy Foote have all given their fellow MPs the pep talk: starting Sept. 17, better behaviour will be required. However, over the course of the session, parliamentary decorum tends to decline, and Speaker Scheer’s job it can turn into babysitting over 300 adults.
I hope MPs will live up to the status of their position and bring Parliament back to an effective and efficient session; but you have a role to play too. Be responsible. Too many people forget about their MP after an election and monitor only the activity of the government overall.
Be critical of your MPs’ actions and praise them for their good performances. You helped choose your representatives; now you have to make sure they properly represent you. Remember, you are the employer and you have a job to do.
Christopher Radojewski is the Fulcrum’s political columnist. If you have any comments or questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org