As fall brawl looms in parliament, some lawmakers want a more civil session

The first head-to-head confrontation between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and new Conservative Party leader Pierre Polièvre is set to take place this week. But while political fireworks are expected, some lawmakers are hoping to keep temperatures down in the Capitol this fall.

During the summer, CBC Radio The House I spoke with a few MPs on homeriding. One of his common themes that emerged from many conversations was the intense level of partisanship and division that sometimes grips Ottawa.

That strong partisanship can erupt as shrill arguments during interrogation.

“We as politicians need to do a better job of condemning that bad behavior. Don’t let a 5-year-old say whatever he wants while someone else is talking. Why?” Allowing an adult to heckle another adult?” said Laila Goodridge, Conservative MP for Fort McMurray-Cold Lake.

“It’s a vicious circle.”

Liberal House leader Mark Holland called on all lawmakers earlier this week to adopt a more respectful tone.

“I don’t think it’s the time to play games. It’s not the time to try to be smart, use rhetorical tricks, pretend to be what you don’t or solutions. I think Canadians will see through that. “He said at a press conference setting out the government’s priorities for this fall.

As Vice-President, Conservative MP Chris d’Entremont is often tasked with moderating when things get particularly hot.

Listen | Conservative MP Chris d’Entremont told The House:

CBC News: House14:20The backyard of Backventure: CPC MP Chris d’Entremont

“We have a very aggressive opposition party. We have a government that does not want to answer questions. So of course people will be dissatisfied,” he said. The House During his tour of the West Nova which he rode earlier this summer.

“This is a vicious circle that we as adults, as members of parliament, really have to come to terms with.

Conservative MP Chris Dentremont poses at Digby Pier in Nova Scotia. He says cultivating simple connections between members of parliament can help with politeness. (Mary Catherine Mackintosh/CBC)

D’Entremont credits liberal Rep. Anthony Rota as a leader in this tricky task. A lot of it comes down to cultivating the simplest connection of getting to know each other better, he said.

“I think what Anthony and I really need to do is bring these … government members together. [to] Get to know each other,” he said.

“The more you know about a person’s personal life — their wives’ and husbands’ names, their children’s names, their interests — the more it changes what happens in the House of Commons.”

Voter Opinions About Tone Are Mixed

Brock Quebec MP Natalie Sinclair-Degagne said whoever sits in the chair should do more to stop the occasional eruption of yelling. said he believes some members of parliament feel compelled to go wild, so to speak, because the party’s most ardent supporters like to see it.

“In the long run, the public will stop trusting that kind of behavior,” she said.

Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagne, who represents Terrebonne’s riding of Bloc Québécois, says some MPs may feel compelled to get rowdy. (Jennifer Chevalier/CBC)

Meanwhile, Green MP Mike Morris has heard voters complaining about the level of rhetoric regularly seen in the House of Commons. But he’s also concerned that other Canadians have chosen to use the same combative language found in Ottawa.

“When you hear certain words used in the House of Commons, like dictator. [or] call [Bill] C-11 censorship — these are the same words I see in emails,” he said.

Morris has been outspoken about “infighting” among politicians, not only in televised questioning hours, but also within his own party.

According to Sinclair-Desgagné, the tone is more united at committee meetings. “Of course we disagree on some issues, fundamental issues, but we tend to work together,” said Sinclair Desgagne, deputy chairman of the Public Accounts Standing Committee.

But she says it’s much easier to maintain politeness among a dozen or so lawmakers than in a House clash that could involve hundreds of them.

Listen | Brock-Québec MP Nathalie Sinclair Deganier told the House of Commons:

CBC News: House14:05The Backyard of Backventure: Brock Rep. Natalie Sinclair Degagne

Has the pandemic made things worse?

Port Moody-Coquitlam NDP MP Bonita Zarrillo said tensions may have increased during the pandemic. Because the virtual sessions necessarily eliminated much of the face-to-face interaction that is common among members in Ottawa.

That said, she says not everyone involved will pass.

“Some of it feels completely unacceptable, so I struggle with that,” she said.

Bonita Zarillo, NDP MP representing Port Moody Coquitlam, B.C., said tensions may have increased during the pandemic. (Christian Amundsson/CBC)

She noted that more women in politics could make a difference. rice field.

Michael Cotto, a liberal MP for Toronto’s Don Valley East constituency, recalled talking to two Conservatives from Alberta at a local restaurant. Their opinions and political values, he said, were felt “day and night” compared to his own.

“For me, it’s like speaking two different languages,” he said. “I don’t understand where that’s coming from…but this is their position.”

Listen | Liberal Rep. Michael Cotto told the House of Representatives:

CBC News: House15:10The Backyard of Backventure: LPC MP Michael Coteau

He argues that as Canadians, members of parliament are likely to share certain “universal” beliefs across political party and geographic boundaries. For example, access to education and health care are universal rights.He sees part of his job as maintaining conversations between different points of view and acting as a “table builder.” I say that

However, he worries that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find common ground on many important issues, and that the issues are not confined to the Capitol alone.

“We see it eroding in politics every day, not just here in Canada, but around the world. It’s our disadvantage as a country.”

Liberal Congressman Michael Cotto grew up in Toronto’s Don Valley East. (Christian Perslang/CBC)

As fall brawl looms in parliament, some lawmakers want a more civil session

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