Parliament needs a police force too

If the complaints are kept secret, any investigation or consequences kept out of the public eye, all deterrence is lost.

B Far from more answers, experience leaves me asking more questions. For instance, how is it no police force is authorized to investigate wrongdoing on Parliament Hill?

As I understand it, if a murder were to occur in Chambers, let’s say a question period got out of hand and tempers flared beyond the norm, sleuthing would fall to the speaker of the house and the board of internal economy, a hush-hush behind-closed-doors committee made up of nine persons from all parties (except the Green) plus the speaker.

How qualified are MPs to be Sherlock Holmes? And since when is it advisable culprits investigate themselves? Though the CBC appears to be doing that over the Ghomeshi affair, self-investigation is not acceptable nor an effective means of getting to the bottom of any wrongdoing.

If police are barred from the Hill, what have the MPs been doing for years arguing to the rafters in question period while never getting down to brass tacks and putting in place a proper procedure for dealing with such complaints as sexual harassment between MPs or between MPs and young interns or journalists?

And why are cocktail parties and other alcoholic drinking happening in Parliament at all? At any hour? We elect MPs to Ottawa to steer the business of Canada, not to fraternize with members of the opposite sex (or in this day and age, perhaps members of the same sex) and paw younger staff or journalists whose careers can be stymied by rebuffing unwelcome attention.

Excuses for drinking include MPs are far from home and family, life can be lonely, their work days are long, and alcohol is an accepted accompaniment to late night meetings. MPs expect voters to buy that?

When the day’s work is done, go home. Sixty years ago MPs went to Ottawa for months at a time. That is no longer the case. Today they commute back and forth by plane with regularity.

A related topic prompting questions is the suspension of two Liberal MPs from their caucus following complaints by two female NDP MPs a year after the alleged unacceptable behaviour. Mulcair fumed the two women had wanted their complaints to be kept secret. Why?

One of the main purposes of court sentences is to deter others from contemplating a similar crime. If the complaints are kept secret, any investigation or consequences kept out of the public eye, all deterrence is lost.

I can appreciate the women would prefer their experiences remain out of newscasts. But if they were old enough to run for election they had to know once they sought remedy by reporting their experiences to NDP Party Whip Turmel or Liberal leader Trudeau, secrecy would end.

Back home, what are the families of the two Liberal MPs making of their caucus suspension? How jovial is life at the kitchen table since Trudeau summarily kicked them out without even identifying what crime they allegedly committed? Once doubt creeps into a marriage, restoring trust can be difficult, if not impossible. You don’t need Dr. Phil’s word for that.

Leading on from those topics, where is Jian Ghomeshi hiding? Two weeks since CBC fired him and no one knows where he is or what he’s up to.

For a man who sought the limelight non-stop, remaining incommunicado must be unsettling for him. How is he managing to stay underground? His face is more widely distributed than Rob Ford’s at the height of his crack cocaine capers. He has not been a guest on any talk show.

Is he hunkered in Mom’s home recuperating from plastic surgery? How is Mom coping with her son’s adverse publicity? Is Big Ears Teddy facing the wall in shame?

 

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