A Personal Commentary
The Liberals want Canadian Alliance MP Dr. Keith Martin sanctioned, if not tossed from Parliament for some punitive measure of time, because he picked up a stick. Not just any stick, of course, but that symbol of democracy, the House of Commons mace.
To be sure, symbols are important as they can represent what is best, and sometimes worst, about a society. While a portrait of the Queen is just paint on canvas and our flag is just coloured cloth, it is what they represent that gives them real value. Frustrated that the government killed any hope of his private members bill from being freely voted on in Parliament, Martin committed his sin.
Then again, for all the gnashing of teeth, all he did was pick up a stick. It wasnt as if Dr. Martin was involved in any kind of political or ethical scandal, or neglected our armed forces. His actions had nothing to do with any kind of billion dollar boondoggle nor the stashing away of billions in foundation accounts to avoid being held accountable to Parliament. No one is saying that Keith Martin can be blamed for ensuring that private member bills, all 239 going down to defeat since the last election, and the private members that sponsor them have become as meaningless as the term "ethics commissioner." Apparently one has to be in government to earn credit for such things.
Unfortunately, Dr. Martin isnt alone in his frustration as Canadians continue to see their Parliament, that former bastion of democracy, become as inconsequential as the stick the good doctor hoisted into the air and the principles it once symbolized.