Do looks matter, Part 2

In an earlier post, I discussed a study conducted by Swedish and Finnish economists which  found that political candidates on the right-wing side of the spectrum were considered more physically attractive, and people were more likely to vote for them at the ballot box. Today, I read about a new website which allows people to rank British MPs based on their perceived attractiveness. The  creator of the site, Francis Boulle, says the raison d’être of is: In addition to my wanting to create a fun and memorable tool to help the British public get to know their Members of Parliament, I thought it would be an interesting opportunity to hold the first ever parliamentary beauty contest and find out […]

Fixing Ottawa: Empowering Backbenchers

(This is the fourth in a series of posts on Fixing Ottawa. The earlier installments are: Fixing Ottawa: Committees, Fixing Ottawa: Question Period, and Fixing Ottawa: Draft Legislation.) In the House of Commons, Members who are not Ministers in the Government (the Executive) and nor members of the Official Opposition team of senior spokespeople (the Shadow Cabinet) are said to be “backbenchers”. Also excluded from the definition would be the leaders of the smaller parties. Consequently, in the 41st Parliament, over 230 out of the total of 308 Members of the House can therefore be described as backbenchers.*  The term derives from the fact that Government and opposition spokespeople sit on the front benches on either side of the Table […]

The honourable member

One of the more curious aspects of debate in the House of Commons is that Members do not refer to each other by name, but by title, position or constituency name. This is done to guard against the tendency to personalize debate. Any Member who offends this tradition – either accidentally or on purpose – is quickly brought to order, often by other Members, as we can see in this exchange: Mr. Ken Boshcoff (Thunder Bay—Rainy River, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to the motion. My comments today will focus on the heart of the issue, ensuring that the government uses our taxpayer dollars to support Canadian industry. (…) All these cuts are hurting […]