Will anything good come out of ‘Elbowgate’?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “manhandling” and allegedly elbowing another woman MP was the most widely discussed event on the main TV.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “manhandling” of one opposition MP and allegedly elbowing another woman MP was the most widely discussed event on the main TV news bulletins of last week.

Exasperated by the delaying tactics of the opposition MPs trying to prevent the voting on Bill 14, otherwise known as the Assisted Dying Bill, Trudeau tried to pull the opposition whip from among the NDP MPs standing on his way and in the process apparently pushed a woman MP at her chest with his elbow. His motive was to have the opposition whip seated so that the voting could begin.

And as it has now become almost a tradition to tag a suffix “gate” to each and every government mishap in the US, the incident was quickly dubbed ‘The Elbowgate’.

This happened because the Liberal government is in a rush to beat the deadline set by the Supreme Court last year for the adoption of a law on assisted dying. The deadline is June 6 and the government bloc in the House of Commons had already made a motion to restrict discussion on the legislation to have it voted on without delay so that it could clear the Senate hurdle quickly to gain Royal Assent.

Trudeau apologized several times for his behaviour during the question time at the House of Commons with some political pundits describing the incident as “one of the strangest” in the history of the House of Commons.

As a result of the incident, Liberals had to withdraw the restrictions they put on the debating period, which means they will now definitely miss the deadline for the legislation to be passed.

One commentator labeled the prime minister’s behaviour as “arrogant”. Others said it was reflective of the increasingly common bullying tactics employed by the Liberal caucus in the House using their majority power.

While creating a stir at the legislature and in Ottawa circles for a few days, the incident seems to have been shrugged off by the general public.

A spontaneous poll conducted through online voting by the national broadcaster CBC showed more than two thirds of those who responded said his repeated apologies had actually improved the prime minister’s image in their eyes. Two days later, an independent polling organization said their survey had showed that the incident had not dented Justin Trudeau’s reputation at all and his positive ratings remained well above 60 per cent.

Here the real question may be better asked about the mentality behind the prime minister’s behaviour rather than action itself. Are we seeing the real life depiction of the premise “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”?

In all fairness, while Trudeau’s behaviour was inappropriate by his own admission, the tactics used by the Liberal bloc in the House of Commons to usher through some legislation without delay are nothing new. All of these tactics and more were used by various previous governments and let’s not forget that the last Conservative government under Stephen Harper went as far as proroguing the parliament in order not to lose a key confidence vote.

So employing procedural tactics relying on the number of MPs to have one’s way trough the parliament and the opposition’s creation of a storm in a cup out of these tactics are nothing new. What is different in this case, however, is that Liberals had promised not to resort to such tactics when they were in opposition and that they broke their promise with the added embarrassment of inappropriate behaviour by the prime minister in person.

One good thing in all of this may be the timing of this unfortunate incident: Liberals have been in power for a little over six months and that their first moment of embarrassment has come so early may be a good red flag for them to step back and assess how they have done so far, how they can improve and what they should change for the better.

 

Just Posted

NDP Leader Rachel Notley stops in Red Deer on campaign trail

Notley promises hospital expansion, cath lab, pipelines and energy industry expansion

Police seize loaded gun in Wetaskiwin

Man arrested with homemade rifle attempt to break into a commercial property

Ponoka Chamber to host election forum

All-candidates forum for Lacombe-Ponoka set for March 28 at the Ponoka Legion

St. Michael’s Church commemoration held west of Bashaw

The celebration acknowledged the history of Hungarian settlers in the area

Remember When: When Red Thunder performed in Ponoka

Celebrating Red Thunder who performed at Ponoka’s centennial homecoming

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Carbon tax, oil and gas investment dominate Day 2 of Alberta campaign

NDP pledges more oil and gas processing, UCP slams provincial and federal governments on carbon tax

Another gun seized by police in Wetaskiwin

Maskwacis RCMP arrest two youths, seize firearm in Wetaskiwin

Sundre RCMP looking for 4 missing bison

A Sundre bison rancher is missing four bison from January and RCMP ask for help from the public

Targeted methane emission cut rules estimated to save billions, says CERI study

Federal government has proposed regulations for methane emission reductions from oil and gas sector

Celina Caesar-Chavannes quits Liberal caucus, sits as independent MP

The Whitby, Ont., MP has been a vocal supporter of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott

Politicians hitting the road for votes in Alberta election campaign

NDP Leader Rachel Notley and United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney have officially launched campaigns

Most Read