Cameras and Good Behaviour in the House of Commons

Cameras and Good Behaviour in the House of Commons
Posted on October 7, 2016 | Rob Dekker | Written on October 7, 2016
Letter type:

In the House of Commons yesterday there was an incident that took place involving the Minister of Foreign Affairs and a hand gesture that he made during a statement by Conservative MP Michael Cooper.

Yesterday during speeches about Standing Orders, two Liberal MPs spoke for the need for wide angle cameras to reveal the 'decorum' being demostrated by members of the house. Here is what MP Baylis said about the need for additional cameras, this is taken from Hansard:

"My second point is that we are living in the age of technology. I would like to see two high-definition, wide-angle cameras installed, one facing the opposition benches and the other facing the government benches. These cameras would be strictly for the use of the Speaker of the House and they would be used in exactly the type of situation we are dealing with today and when there is a complaint. It would be a little bit like what we see in all sorts of sports, such as tennis, hockey, and football, where the referee has the right to look at the instant replay to check on something he missed. I suggest using that same approach in the House. That would mean that we would have two cameras strictly for the Speaker's use, to allow him or her to determine, when necessary, if there is an issue on which the Standing Orders must be enforced"

The Second MP to discuss the use of camera's to catch bad behavior is MP Virani (again from Hansard):

My fourth recommendation is that if outspoken members of Parliament knew their heckling, jeering, and interventions could actually be caught on camera and beamed via CPAC to the living rooms of people around the country, it would mitigate their misbehaviour."

I wonder how they felt about their suggestions after Question Period took place?


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Rob currently works on Parliament Hill.  He writes regularly on his blog #RedHeartBlueSign at on lifestyle, political and... More