The rancour among opposition MPs in Ottawa towards the government and Conservatives in general is palpable. Nowhere is this malicious resentfulness more noticeable than in New Democrat member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre, Pat Martin. Martin has held his Manitoba seat since 1997 and has accomplished little in Ottawa other than becoming somewhat of a media darling who can be counted on for a sound bite now and then.
Martin is a sanctimonious blowhard and bully who uses his membership on Parliamentary committees to browbeat government representatives in a rude and disparaging manner. His shameful sham of a performance during his questioning of International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda on Friday is the latest example of his contemptible behaviour.
During his overly aggressive verbal assault, Martin suggested Bev Oda is a “lousy minister,” the “minister of weasel words” and suggested she was either a “very poor minister or equally poor liar.” And all this from an MP who is not even a voting member of the committee that is considering whether Ms. Oda should be found in contempt of Parliament—he was brought in by the NDP to be their non-voting “hit man” to entertain the media and to humiliate the beleaguered minister to the full extent of his rather limited vocabulary.
The man’s an odious fellow and a bit of a clown who, like most New Democrat MPs, need to find ways to seem relevant to their constituents and Canadians at large. He’s one of those career politicians who’s in the House of Commons because it is the best paying form of employment he’s ever likely to get—that is, for personal gain. It rankles political hacks like Martin that they will never achieve real power and influence in Ottawa and sometimes their envy and personal animosity towards those who hold power gets the best of them.
Now I read the hypocrite is waffling over whether Minister Oda should be found in contempt of parliament, musing to The Globe on Monday, “I think [her alleged transgressions] are sins of omission more than commission and I’m not sure being less than truthful is as serious as offence as an out-and-out lie.”
So why humiliate Minister Oda so? Because Martin’s privileged position lets him, that’s a good enough reason for any bully.
Contempt of Parliament apparently has only been found in two previous cases: Louis Riel and Fred Rose. Louis Riel, a former Manitoba MP, was expelled from the House of Commons in 1874 for leading the Red River Rebellion. Rose was a communist who had been elected to the House in the mid-1940s then expelled and imprisoned.
Can anyone—even mean-spirited opposition MPs capable of virtually anything—find equivalence between these gravely egregious acts and the actions of Minister Oda? High crimes and misdemeanors her actions were not.
Frankly, I doubt the committee will find the minister in contempt. And the opposition really doesn’t have to as they already have what they want now that three opposition members on the committee have agreed the government is in contempt for its failure to release documents on the cost of its law-and-order agenda. But it’s fun to roast a minister now and then. It’s all part of the political game played by these overpaid political hacks putting in time before they retire on taxpayer funded top-hat pensions that very few of the rest of the population will ever receive.