A perfect pair

With the numbers as close as they are in Parliament, and the situation so volatile, we are greeted with the disturbing notion of ill MPs being forced to attend the House to either save or vote out the government. I can’t imagine why Stinson, Chatters, Cadman and Efford haven’t set up a pairing agreement. Have things decayed so far that such deals cannot be made?

While I admire the fortitude of a seriously ill MP travelling across the country, it is surely unwise. Even if an MP is able to make it to the House against his doctor’s orders, it would be sensible and honourable to agree to a pairing with a Member from the other side who is suffering from similar difficulties. Surely they would have empathy for each other’s plight. It would prevent the spectacle that has turned Parliament into something like a deathwatch.

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4 Comments

  1. Manatee said,

    Wednesday, 11 May 2005 at 7:23 pm

    This is indeed a useful suggestion, and I could see it happening. It is not unusual for a parties to share information about how many members will be in the House for a particular vote. I suspect the problem here is that nobody is sure (including the elected officials themselves) how Kilgour and Cadman will vote when the budget is eventually voted on. I believe Efford’s condition right now is not as serious (wasn’t he just at the doctors for testing yesterday?), and he would have no problem whatsoever making it to a vote if a third line whip was in effect. Also, I wouldn’t want to be the guy who didn’t show up when my party lost the vote (voters do not respect an elected official unable to count).

  2. John Murney said,

    Wednesday, 11 May 2005 at 9:58 pm

    When it comes to the pursuit of power, no act is too low or too desperate.

  3. Dave Dowling said,

    Wednesday, 11 May 2005 at 11:53 pm

    You guys should help run my next election campaign. check me out

  4. Gnomes said,

    Friday, 13 May 2005 at 9:36 am

    From CBC:

    Throwing another suggestion into the pot, the New Democrats are proposing that MPs invoke a practice known as “pairing,” which has been occasionally used in the past when voting margins are tight.

    If an MP from one party can’t be in the House of Commons for a pressing personal reason, an MP from an opposing party will agree to stay away from the vote as well, as a courtesy.


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