When news broke last week of the Conservative Party's super-secret, 200 page manual on how to disrupt committee meetings, the normally available, straight-shooting Con whip Jay Hill ducked the media and went to ground.
Having huddled with the PMO communications team, he came up for air on CTV’s Question Period program on Sunday to try and spin the affair. It was a decidedly mixed performance.
First, the good spin:
“…this so-called book of dirty tricks is nothing more than the parliamentary tools that are available to all committee chairs. And 90 per cent, probably, of the information that's contained in that manual is simply the standing orders that all committee chairs should apprise themselves of.”This line of argument works well. Make it seem like it’s no big deal, business as usual, and add in a little it’s just politics and people tune out.
Leave it there and I’d give his spin an A, but that’s not all Jay had to say (didn’t intend for that to rhyme):
"It's no big secret that this is a minority Parliament. We're outnumbered both in the chamber, dramatically outnumbered of course in the Senate by the Liberal majority over there, and outnumbered in every single standing committee."Now that just makes Jay sound like a child that can’t get his way. It undoes the earlier good spin, it plays directly against the desire of Canadians to see Parliamentarians attempt to work together, and it’s a slap in the face for the majority of Canadians that didn’t vote Conservative. It speaks to a lack of understanding, or just lack of caring, for how our political system works.
So it's important, he said, to ensure that the committee chairs have the tools they need "to push back when we see the opposition parties basically getting together and trying to put together a coalition government between the three of them."
So, overall, Jay gets a B-. He can do much better, and I’ll look for improved performance in the next semester. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers