Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Mister Speaker

Ever since the election, I'd been thinking that Milikin might be out as speaker, and David Akin confirms a movement is afoot to replace him:

Now, here's an interesting little conspiracy theory advanced to me this afternoon by a smart and enthusiastic Hill staffer: The Conservatives may be interested in seeing anyone -- even another Liberal - take the Speaker's job, so long as it's not Milliken. Here's why: Milliken has been the speaker for seven years and it's his dream job. Wily Conservatives though may be betting that if Milliken was deprived of his dream job, he might quit as an MP. After all, he was hinting during the last election campaign that this run would be his last. So, without the Speaker's job to keep him in Ottawa, some Tories think he might just up and vacate his seat of Kingston and the Islands, which Milliken and the Liberals have held since 1988. Milliken beat out Flora MacDonald who had held the seat for the Progressive Conservatives since 1972.

While I'm sure "crushing someone's dream" is the reason for about half the decisions made in Ottawa, there is actually a good case to be made for removing Milikin. Simply put, decorum in the House has descended to a putrid level and, although Milikin may not be solely responsible for this, as the speaker he deserves at least some of the blame.



  • I actually disagree that Milliken deserves some of the blame. He is limited in his options, and is "but a servant of the House." Putting any blame on him is to excuse the infantile behaviour of every party in the last few years, and absolve them of responsibility. If the House were to decide to give the Speaker a stick which he could use on members when necessary (and I mean that in a literal, not figurative sense), then maybe he could effect some change. Until then, he can't do much more than yell "Order! Order!"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:41 p.m.  

  • You're just saying that because the present Speaker let the past Prime Minister table the South Beach diet in the House.

    By Blogger matt, at 11:41 p.m.  

  • I also disagree that PM is responsible. Milliken is a great speaker, and we'd be lucky if he stayed on.

    By Blogger James Bowie, at 1:22 a.m.  

  • I have met Peter Milliken and stand four-square against crushing his dream. Nobody in history has been as prepared as Peter Milliken is to be speaker - his knowledge of parliamentary procedure is the best in parliament.

    Decorum is bad in parliament because it is a minority government.

    I have also personally met him - he's such a nice little guy (very Mackenzie-King-esque). It would be jolly rotten of the Tories to push him out and anyhow, I don't think they would win Kingston and the islands so easily.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 1:41 a.m.  

  • Anon apparently has trouble reading. CG clearly said, "at least some of the blame".

    Not "all of the blame" or "should be blamed".

    I completely agree with CG here. While I don't have any feelings one way or the other about who is the Speaker, it's clearly the Speakers job to maintain order in the House. Note I said order and not decorum.


    By Blogger lance, at 1:46 a.m.  

  • Awe, Milliken is my favourite liberal. I don't want to see him go.

    By Blogger James McKenzie, at 3:15 a.m.  

  • Obviously he's not fully responsible, but a new speaker might be an opportunity to start fresh and to keep things more civil. That probably won't happen, but it's at least possible.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:43 a.m.  

  • I also hold him "in part" to blame, but mainly blame the MPs in general, of all parties.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:10 a.m.  

  • I just wish he'd be as ruthless about cutting NDP mics during SO31s and QP as he is about cutting Liberal ones.

    Hey, Jack Layton: take your minute and shut the phuq up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:58 a.m.  

  • Since debate, question period, members statements and all that jazz makes no difference as to how a member will vote, at least the House of Commons is entertaining. But seven years as speaker is a long time.

    By Blogger Mike B., at 12:36 p.m.  

  • Its pure fantasy to think Kingston would fall to the Cons without Milikin. It was closer this time, only because everyone knew there is no chance he would lose, allowing the Greens to be 10+%. Much of the 30+% Green/NDP(aided by big name candidate) got would scurry home at the slightest thought the Cons would win.

    Maybe, maybe if May ran here, and the Libs inexplicably had a weak candidate a Con win would be possible.

    More likely Mayor Rosen seizes a chance to be closer to his Ottawa working wife and runs for the Liberals...taking much of the Con vote with him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:24 p.m.  

  • You may blame him for some of the stuff that goes down in the HoC, but it's certainly not something he should lose his job over.

    When you have a class of retards, even the best teacher can only do so much as to restore some semblance of order in the classroom.

    The real culprits are the MPs.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:57 a.m.  

  • Minor point: There are two Ls in Milliken.

    By Blogger saphorr, at 12:15 a.m.  

  • And no I at the end.

    Repetez moi!

    M I L L I K E N !

    By Blogger Möbius, at 5:24 p.m.  

  • Whoops.

    Spontaneous multi-posting.

    By Blogger Möbius, at 5:25 p.m.  

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