Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

While the House of Commons seems mired in partisanship, MPs would do well to listen carefully to the advice of their colleagues who are bidding farewell to political life.< /p>

Analysis | MPs ;s of the Commons can they still collaborate?

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Will the Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Conservative Party, Pierre Poilievre, the leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet, and the leader of the New Democratic Party, Jagmeet Singh, listen to the advice of their colleagues who are leaving political life?

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Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from a written text.

When it comes to partisanship, it's a shame that it's when they leave that elected officials seem to see the light.

Tuesday, the resigning MP for LaSalle–Émard–Verdun, David Lametti, bid farewell to his colleagues in a heartfelt speech.

He took the opportunity to advocate kindness. We could all benefit from being kinder, and we would be better people that way, he said in his farewell speech.

This place is not overrated. The Right Honorable Paul Martin said: "More can be done in this place in five minutes than in five years anywhere else," added the former Minister of Justice.

Last June, when he left the Commons, former Conservative leader Erin O'Toole also confided his concerns to his colleagues.

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Politics-spectacle fuels polarization, the display of virtue replaces discussion and, far too often, we use the House to generate video clips rather than start national debates, he lamented.

Social media did not build this great country, but it is beginning to destroy its democracy.

However, this is not the kind of advice that MPs seem willing to hear as work resumes in the Commons, after the holiday break.

It will be long! This observation launched by the leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet, during the very first question period in the Commons, perfectly illustrated the state of mind that reigned in the House on Monday.

Pierre Poilievre had just accused Justin Trudeau of intimidating Newfoundland Liberal MP Ken McDonald for raising the idea of ​​a review of his leadership. The prime minister then retorted to the conservative leader that one of his MPs had dined with a far-right German politician and wanted to abolish the UN.

If some thought that the Christmas break would help lower the temperature in the Commons, they were proven wrong in less than a few minutes. The deputies picked up hostilities precisely where they left off in December.

If this atmosphere persists until the next general elections scheduled in more than a year and a half, in fact, the time promises to be long.

The Polarization appears to have entrenched itself in federal politics for good. While the issues that concern citizens are legion – climate emergency, cost of living, foreign interference, etc. –, every topic seems to turn into an opportunity to score political points.

While it is natural for parties to compare their ideas, they must nevertheless keep in mind the collective interests of voters. Canadians who observe the actions of parliamentarians are asking themselves questions.

According to an Angus Reid poll released Tuesday, 39% of respondents do not believe there is room for compromise in politics in 2024. Note that NDP and Liberal respondents were more inclined to believe in these compromises, while the PLC and the NDP signed a confidence agreement.

In this survey, almost 53% of respondents disagreed with the statement : My federal government cares about issues that are important to me. Citizens seem to doubt that politicians work for them.

The growing importance of social media in politics is probably not unrelated to this irresistible rise in partisanship. It changed the tone. We are looking for the punched clip so we can reuse it later, notes political scientist Geneviève Tellier.

Ms. Tellier, professor at the University of Ottawa, establishes a parallel with the upheaval caused by the arrival of television in the House of Commons in 1977. Parliamentarians then changed their approach and, on this occasion, had calmed down considerably.

It's ironic how the arrival of social media has created the opposite reaction.

The survey was conducted among 1,510 Canadians by Angus Reid, from January 9 to 12, 2024, using an online questionnaire.

As a guide, a probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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