Parliamentary tales . . . On running for election . . . A nobleman in England asked a man named Garrick to be a candidate for a seat in Parliament.

Parliamentary tales . . .

On running for election . . .

A nobleman in England asked a man named Garrick to be a candidate for a seat in Parliament. Garrick, a popular actor, replied, “No my Lord, I would rather play the part of a great man on the stage, than the part of a fool in Parliament.”

On regulations . . .

Regulations emanate from legislative sittings profusely, like spring flowers. A classic example was a motor vehicle regulation instructing drivers, “to enter the tunnel via an entrance, and, after proceeding through the tunnel, to leave via an exit.”

On planning ahead . . .

A young man asked a well-known parliamentarian what he should study to best qualify himself for speaking so as to gain the ear of colleagues in the House.

 “Have you a graveyard near your house?” asked the experienced one.


 “Then I suggest you visit it early in the mornings and practice upon the tombstones.”

On words . . .

A child asked a man to pick a flower for her, which he did.

Then she said, “Now put it back.”

“How can you explain to a child, that there are some things, which, when once broken, once mutilated, can never be replaced or mended?” he asked.

On kindness . . .

Kindness comes naturally to some. A lonely widow in a large city began her day smiling thanks to a thoughtful man. Every morning a gentleman who lived down the street came past her house, stopped, and left her a rose. “It’s from his garden,” she told a visitor, “here he comes now.”

Sure enough he handed her a rose, and said, “I grew this one just for you.”

Her visitor left with the man and as they walked he explained, “I’ve never been in a garden in my life. I buy her a rose at the florist’s every morning. She gets such a smile on her face it makes my day too.”

 Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could find rooms full of ladies and gentlemen with the same thoughtfulness as the gentleman with his rose? Especially in our Parliament, and specifically in the language committee with its vigorous attack of silliness on the captain of our World Cup hockey team. The man who threw a hat trick back at them instead of playing their silly game.

We hope; then we vote and wonder after, who will be the dope, them, or us? In this case the answer is clear. Perhaps some appropriate advice would help? I present a frequent admonition coming from the children’s sandbox next door, which often began with “mind your own beeswax,” ending with “GROW UP!”

May I suggest your chair might want to consider providing a list of outstanding Canadians your members could emulate, instead of children in a sandbox.

At the top of today’s list you will find Shane Doan, leader par excellence.

On a tip of the hat . . .

Ah, I suppose Tom Paine is right when he says, “Time makes more converts than reason,” so a tip of the hat to him, and to people like him who can encapsulate wisdom in a sentence.

It does continue to puzzle me, though, that we gather people together, call them committees and hold meetings ad infinitum, and sitting in these meetings are people with knowledge and experience, all with reasonable approaches to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

One would think the result of this mix of people, experience and wisdom would always be decisions and wisdom in the same league as Tom Paine’s words.

Yet, all too often, the minutes of the meeting produce advice such as how to get through a tunnel.

 Ah well, another tip of the hat to the mysteries of life, love and the pursuit of excellence in high places.

 C’est la vie!

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