The last session of the House has been roundly criticized by in the media, so I’ll not pile on, but concentrate on some of the stuff I liked. First off, I liked that we didn’t end up with an election, yet advanced our legislative agenda in some significant ways. I also liked that we got through a session without following a single word of advice from Green Party leader Elizabeth May. Fancy that.
Primum non nocere, (first, do no harm) is a fundamental principle of medical ethics.
Remember, readers, that this is not intended to be an exhaustive list, just what comes easily to mind. And, in this post, I’ll stick to persons rather than events.
Primum non nocere, (first, do no harm) is a fundamental principle of medical ethics. This could as appropriately be used as a guiding principle for politicians of all parties and political stripes. And it is with this in mind that I look back at those who participated in the past session of the House of Commons.
Best Conservative performers: Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Jim Flaherty, Stockwell Day and Jason Kenny.
Stephen Harper has deftly maneuvered through a worldwide financial crisis, a severe recession and a prickly minority parliament. It will be a pity if a couple of slip-ups on the domestic front detract too much from this stellar record. Canada’s international reputation is at one of the highest levels it’s been in decades, and the PM should be given a lot of the credit for that.
Jim Flaherty, not one of my favourite politicians, deserves enormous credit for his fiscal management since being in the finance portfolio. His performance nationally and internationally in the past year has been near flawless. Don’t listen to the opposition, Flaherty’s reputation abroad is sound and that is good news for Canadians.
Solid as a rock, as they say, is a fitting metaphor for Stockwell Day. After making a hash of his term as leader of the Canadian Alliance, Day has settled in as one of the most reliable Harper lieutenants. I cannot think of any significant missteps since the right united as the CPC, and he certainly has had some high-profile, difficult portfolios.
Jason Kenny has been the best immigration minister Canada has had in decades. His citizenship guide was timely and popular without the corrosive political correctness found in similar documents of the past. His political will and skill saw worrying trends like the flood of refugee claimants from free-trade partner, Mexico, and democratic European Union countries stemmed. He’s also done effective work to try and rid our immigration/refugee system of fraudulent “consultants.” And, notably, he designed and passed much needed legislation to reform our broken refugee system.
The list of opposition members is short. Not because there are not many fine, hardworking members who oppose the government, but because the opposition chose not to deal with substantive issues, but to stick with tactics to slowly erode confidence in the Harper government. Time will tell how effective these tactics have been.
There are three Liberal MPs, though, who stood out at the head of the pack: Dominic LeBlanc, Ujjal Dosanjh and Bob Rae.
Dominic LeBlanc is a calm reasoned man and even the hyper-partisan atmosphere on Parliament Hill has not dulled his polish and sense of humour. Liberals might have missed a bet when they passed him over for the ineffectual Michael Ignatieff.
I’m no fan of reformed socialist, Ujjal Dosanjh, but this man had done himself credit and done Canada a favour in courageously speaking out against extremism and imported elements of foreign culture that are anathema to the Canadian belief system.
Bob Rae, another reformed socialist, was my hero on the day he spoke out against NDP Deputy Leader and House Leader Libby Davies after she spouted a lot of nonsense, which seemed to support those who would deny the State of Israel its right to exist.