Thursday, June 2, 2011

While Canada moves forward under P.M. Stephen Harper - the 'Free World's Most Respected Leader' - Jack Layton will need his rude 'attack dog approach' to keep his volitile Quebec caucus in check

Date: Wed. Jun. 1 2011 8:06 PM ET
NDP Leader Jack Layton has promised to bring more civility to the House of Commons but a new study suggests he's actually the worst offender in the room.
A study from McMaster University and a Toronto-based research firm ranked all MPs who asked or answered at least 50 questions in the last sitting of Parliament on a zero to 100 scale.
Layton had the lowest civility index score at 39, while Conservative MP Rona Ambrose had the highest score -- excluding retired House Speaker Peter Milliken -- at 68.

Former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff finished with the second-lowest score.
One of the study's authors, Alex Sevigny of McMaster, says it's not surprising that opposition MPs scored lower, because the scores were based on question period, where the opposition attacks the government.

"Opposition leaders face a hill to climb. To get on to the nightly news they have to say something provocative, they have to say something engaging, something unusual," he told CTV's Power Play. "One way to look at it is that if the opposition leaders are scoring a little lower, they are doing their job."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper finished with a score of 50. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, known as the Tory's most effective attack dog, had a score of 49.

"As question period is now structured . . . perhaps civility is not the essence for success and effectiveness," Sevigny said.

Parliament resumes Thursday.