Time to ban knives from Parliament Hill

After 9/11, in airports around the world, metal cutlery disappeared from the restaurants inside the security area.
Having watched the performance of Canadian politicians of late, I wonder if the cutlery is going to disappear from the members’ dining room on Parliament Hill.
Following the Oct. 14 election, all the MPs talked nice—letting voters know that they had received the message that they were to work together. Alas, it now appears that what they were saying to the public and what they were planning behind closed doors was completely different.
No party is innocent.
If MPs had been in my first grade class, they would be lined up on Sparks Street with their hands outstretched while Gov.-Gen. Michaelle Jean forcefully gave each one the full force of the leather strap while camera crews from the major networks filmed the process.
Maybe a little public humiliation would help.
We now know that Stephen Harper didn’t live up to what he was saying, nor did Jack Layton or Stéphane Dion. They all were plotting the downfall of each other.
All three had the knives out and had armed their fellow party members for the knife fight in the House of Commons and the main streets across the country. Harper was bloodied and sought respite care, though we still don’t know what the final outcome will be.
Thankfully, the Governor General told Parliament to take “a time-out” last week.
But as of Monday, Canadians learned that in the Liberal party, many of the members still have not sheathed their knives. Two, in particular, are out for more blood. Their scapegoat appears to be Stéphane Dion—and both Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff can’t seem to plunge the knife in fast enough.
So much for the spirit of Christmas and goodwill to all men!
No sooner had Parliament been prorogued until Jan. 26 than Bob Rae had dismissed Dion and basically appointed himself as the leader of the proposed coalition between the Liberals and New Democrats, with support from the Bloc Quebecois.
There wasn’t a coup. There wasn’t an election. He just grabbed the crown.
Not to be outdone, by Sunday Michael Ignatieff had persuaded the third Liberal leadership candidate to withdraw, and was working to have the Liberal caucus elect him as the party’s next Liberal at a meeting scheduled for today. He, too, couldn’t get rid of Dion fast enough.
Dion initially wasn’t supposed to leave until May, but was being given a hurried exit from Stornoway (the official residence of the leader of the Opposition). How unfair to evict a person in winter just before Christmas. What kind of message does that send to Canadians about a party that puts people first?
The other message being offered by Ignatieff is that he doesn’t feel the Liberal members across Canada can be trusted to elect the next leader of the party. Why else would he be looking for members of the caucus to be his sole electors?
The knives have come out. Our parliamentary system has been wounded. The democratic selection of leaders has been cut. The needs of the country have been put on hold while this political knife fight goes on.
Is it time to get rid of the knives in the parliamentary restaurant—and ban knives from Parliament Hill?
This Christmas, let’s give every MP a lump of coal. It’s more than they deserve.

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