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Lack of Respect, Decorum in House

From August 29, 2008

There was some commotion after the motion on the first report of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Standing Committee, June 13, 2006. During a vote that the Conservatives lost, MP Jacques Gourde, the Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, was widely seen to "give the finger to the members of the Bloc Quebecois."

By all who witnessed the display, from all opposition parties, Gourde's behaviour was called "disgraceful", "offensive", "unfit", and "childish".

When asked to apologize, Gourde's response was, "Mr. Speaker, I am sorry because I think the House misinterpreted my gesture." It is difficult to imagine how Gourde thinks his gesture could be otherwise interpreted.

When Harper's Conservatives re-entered the House of Commons in 2006 to sit on the other side of the chamber, it had been 12 years since something resembling that Party last occupied government. But such an absence does not excuse their utter lack of decorum and respect. Constantly, whether in the House of Commons or on the campaign trail, Conservative Party behaviour is shown to have more in common with a frat party than a parliament.

Why should the people of Canada vote for that?