Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Just to be clear: I'm not trying to insult "rookie MPs" of any party stripe. My problem isn't with these individuals in particular. I'm sure they are upstanding citizens and many will, and I'm talking more about the younger cohort, in time become outstanding members of our community and national life. But the House of Commons, the nation's legislative organ, is not a training ground. It's not a preparatory academy. It is, or should be, the big time. I want to be able to look up to the House, and be proud of the talent and wisdom and virtue of our representatives. I hope I'm not alone in that. Being an MP should require more qualifications than working at the GAP. If we can't change the electoral system, let's endeavour in future elections to scrutinize every candidate in every riding, not on policy or ideology, necessarily, but on experience, character, competence, and so on, just as in a job interview. If you really want to restore trust in our democratic institutions, we need to instill respect for quality and merit in governance.