The Theatre is now closed…Time to get to work

The Theatre is now closed…Time to get to work

Every summer we get a barrage of news stories, editorials and cartoons about Parliament taking its summer break. They all bray on about how politicians get the entire summer off and they should be working harder for our tax dollars.

The reality is quite the opposite.  The only thing that is closed is the theatre of Parliament and the media circus that comes with it.

Question Period is such theatre and takes up a considerable amount of time and effort.  But is it really worth it?

Prepared “strategic” (although most days I question the strategy of the opposition) questions are asked of the government.  The government then responds with prepared answers because most times they have a clue what is going to be asked.

Ah but this only an hour a day, you say.  Not quite.  It takes time to research, write and re-write both the questions and the answers.  It takes time to rehearse your questions and answers.( Yes, rehearse. There is little spontaneity anymore.)

I am certainly not preaching that we get rid of Question Period. I just think that the media and public should put less emphasis on the importance of Question Period and spend more time focusing on the work of policy development and running programs that benefit Canadians.

The summer isn’t the time MPs take off to the cottage until September.  They are actually in their communities meeting with constituents; helping to solve problems and hearing new ideas.

As they are here working for you, you should be working too. Working to ensure that your voice is heard; to get your idea noticed or getting the support you need.

Because they don’t have to spend so much time on Question Period and all of its trappings, MPs and MPPs have more time to fill to meet with you.

So stop writing that letter to the editor complaining about how little MPs and MPPs work and get out there and meet with your elected officials. Make them aware of your organization and its good works. Get them working for you to connect you to government resources and programs.

Just the theatre is closed, but there is still lots of work to do.

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