Rex Murphy has some thoughts on the tense moments between Peter Van Loan and Nathan Cullen this week in the House of Commons.
Read a transcript of this Rex Murphy episode.
It isn't fair.
When the Crown Prince of Canadian politics, Justin Trudeau makes some silly little gaffe about "too many Albertans" or when he strays accidentally into common sense on the gun registry, his opponents and even his admirers in the Press are all over him.
Yet, when the young trend maker sets the mark for manly confrontation, and offers a brilliant example of how to exchange real blows with an opponent, no one from the Press or Parliament leaps forward to say Well Done, Justin. Or, better still - follow his virile example and take the opponent to a boxing ring, rather than disturb the dust of the venerable House of Commons itself.
This came to mind yesterday when I saw Conservative minister Peter Van Loan - not normally known for martial prowess or derring-do, not a man I associate with the 007 brand - it's difficult to project him tackling some evil mastermind all the while juggling a harem of Bond girls - saw Peter Van Loan, cross the floor and make threatening gestures at the normally placid and even-tempered Nathan Cullen.
Parliamentarians were naturally upset, having never seen a teapot in a tempest before. There was much spittle-irrigated anger from Mr. van Loan, supplemented by what is euphemistically known as F-Bombing, in which, curiously, neither bombs nor Fs are involved.
It got worse as the seconds wore on. Some people swear they glared at each other, that's right, put their beady politician's eyes on high beam and glared. There may even have been a "Harumph" or two. But the real tension when according to actual witness testimony Van Loan wagged his finger at Mr. Cullen. (This is just weeks since Parliament discussed bullying).
At this point the Honorable Thomas Mulcair, Opposition leader intervened. Then, Peter MacKay - Minister of Defence, for once actually acting the part - joined the…almost...fray.
MacKay removed Van Loan from the scene; a high watermark to be sure in the history of Canadian peacekeeping.
Mulcair earned high marks from his caucus for coming to Cullen's aid when, Van Loan, jowls aflame, prepared to verbally strafe Cullen a second time - with reference, some say, to his (Cullen's) mother wearing army boots. They’re rough on the hill - nothing is sacred - even footwear.
There hasn't been such excitement in Parliament since third reading of the Navigable Waters Act.
Well, isn’t Justin's way is so much cleaner and more publicity worthy.
Gloves not insults. There was nothing to prevent Van Loan inviting Cullen to a local boxing ring - putting on the fat gloves and wind milling each other for 2 or 3 minutes. That would have been so much more diverting...and, actually, so much more mature.
For the National, I'm Rex Murphy.View / Post Comments