Issues with decorum take away from real problems

The House of Commons needs to focus on the issues Canadians are actually concerned about.

Canadian politics isn’t all too popular among international media — the spotlight usually settles on the more dramatic American politics. Of course, when Canadian politics does catch people’s attention, it’s usually humiliating because of how our politicians conduct themselves.

In the House of Commons (HoC), many members of parliament (MP) behave like a group of teenagers making petty comments while the rest of them boo and ah. You can’t help but wonder how these are the leaders of our country. Canadians have more pressing matters that require attention, such as inflation, the cost-of-living, carbon taxes, and more. Yet our politicians are having ridiculous fights with each other rather than making Canadians’ lives better.   

Decorum in the HoC has become an almost constant issue. It makes you wonder if some politicians only care about gaining clicks on media. A popular example is Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre‘s recent use of the word “wacko” in parliament. The House Speaker, Greg Fergus, sanctioned Poilievre after he used the “unparliamentary” word and refused to withdraw his statement. Suddenly, instead of discussing the decriminalization of drugs and Canadians’ concerns about it, the HoC was talking about the word “wacko.”

The media and MPs discussed Poilievre’s sanction for days afterwards. Ladies and gentlemen, is this what we spend our tax dollars on? Marc Miller, minister of immigration, refugees, and citizenship, defended the speaker’s decision and claimed that the speaker only sanctioned Poilievre because he didn’t “retract” his statement. Who does it help for our leaders to insult each other and then spend the rest of their time arguing whether or not the consequences were fair? 

Although Poilievre has clashed with the HoC speakers on occasion, the Liberal Party MPs are no saints either. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland thought it would be amusing to say that “the conservative leader is wearing more makeup than I am.” When did this turn into Mean Girls? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed Poilievre “loves the sound of his voice.” Poilievre then said if Trudeau was chocolate “he’d eat himself.” It’s no wonder Canada is still dealing with the same issues year after year — our politicians spend more time belittling each other than debating important issues. 

It’s serious enough that after his appointment to House Speaker, Fergus said there’s “a deterioration of collective decorum.” Fergus gave a lengthy speech about decorum in the HoC, which some MPs weren’t happy about. The delay of parliamentary proceedings for a speech about “civility and decorum” did little to actually solve the problem. The speaker’s lengthy speeches and MP’s ridiculous arguments are only wasting precious time that could be spent actually addressing the problems facing Canadians.

Canadians are looking to their government to solve issues like cost-of-living, which has skyrocketed in the past couple of years. The average rent in Canada is $2,202 as of May 2024. An increase to the carbon tax was a major concern for many Canadians. The HoC overlooked these issues — a failure of party leaders and Fergus.

Politicians’ passion should be directed at real issues like the Canadian economy, foreign affairs, and making Canadians’ lives easier. Both the House Speaker and party leaders need to make sure they are focusing on the issues that matter — not trying to one-up each other and then making pointless speeches about it. If they don’t start focusing on the things that matter, things won’t get better for anyone in Canada.

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