MP Bruce Hyer is decrying the worsening state of decorum in the House of Commons and promoting two ideas to improve it. Question Period in particular has been recognized as so bad that many school teachers now refuse to bring their classes to watch the spectacle.
“I am dismayed and embarrassed by MPs heckling and cat-calling here in the House.” said Hyer today in the House of Commons. “Canadians don’t like it. It doesn’t have to be this way, and in most other countries it’s not. In Scandinavian parliaments, I have observed first-hand the way in which proportional representation leads to rational discussion and debate, mutual respect, workable compromises …and much better governance than we have here.”
“Our constituents are looking to us for statesmanship, for leadership, and effective government that represents not just regions or factions, but all Canadians.” continued Hyer, the New Democrat MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North.
On top of much-needed reforms to the winner-take-all voting system, Hyer proposed changes to seating that would foster more negotiation and a better atmosphere in the House of Commons.
“We could choose to change our seating charts, and abandon the hockey bench blocks of seating in the House by party.” proposed the MP. “We could randomize seating here in the House. Some time spent in the House next to other Members from other parties will lead to recognition of them as people with whom we can share ideas, and have more mutual respect.”
“Our constituents want better. They deserve better. Let’s act to improve our system… and our behaviour.” Hyer concluded in the House.