19 May 2005

Ongoing octametric coverage

Okay, this is frivolous, but I doubt anyone else is providing up-to-the-minute octametric coverage?

So then, behold, the House of Commons : that most glorious institute
Where never member squawked : in days long gone : nor hooted like a bird
Upon the nineteenth day of May : convened upon the lonely Hill
And many were the squabbling parties : bickering amongst themselves
And they were four, the NDP : the partisans of Douglas' name
And Layton was their glorious leader : bearer of a bold moustache
The Tories too were there : an ancient group : the party of Sir John
The great Sir John, a mighty man : who liked a scotch in th' afternoon
And when the sun was sinking back : and falling to the Western sea
And when at morn there rose : towards the east : the soft pink palm of dawn
And they were led by Stephen Harper : sombre in his sombre suit
And then the fearsome Bloc : which led the charge : to ruin Canada
When once upon a time : Lucien Bouchard : the single-legged man
Had founded them, in ancient days : amid the smoke and blood of Meech
And they were led by Gilles Duceppe : the Maoist of steely gaze
And last of all the Liberal Party : legacy of Jean Chretien
The Government indeed : for many years : yet shorn of power now
For when the votes were counted last : they had but a minority
And Martin was their glorious leader : patient through the empty years
So now when all had found their places : there upon the lonely Hill
So then, behold, the Speaker rose : and opened the profound debate
And first of all he named the member :

. . . will be updating this as soon as somebody says anything interesting on Cpac.


Update. So, the NDP amendment passed, Cadman voted with the Government, and the Newfoundland Tories were spared their decision.

Such was the excitement, however, that I feel rather burnt out; also, I wonder if octameter is really the right metrical genre for covering these things. Something Aeolic, perhaps, would better convey the sensation of Cadman's rising for Yea. And lyric has no place on this blog.

One last outburst: Obviously the Tories are now in a serious bind. They've pledged to let the Government govern after this, so barring some unforeseen development (and how rare those are these days) they can't, politically speaking, table a confidence motion. But what do they do if the Bloc irritably tries for their own confidence motion? Do they vote that they have confidence in the Government?

Lastly, Dave raises the interesting question of what would happen if the NDP amendment came up for third reading (this was, I believe, the first reading -- or was it the second? No, the first). The Speaker, as he made very clear in casting his tiebreaker today, votes to continue debate; he does not vote to accomplish anything. What then would he do in the case of a third reading? A vote with the Government in that case would be a vote to approve the amendment, ending further discussion. (Update: a constitutional expert informs us that the proper course is for the Speaker not to vote to defeat the Government, as makes sense.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a day in politics, and what a poetic tribute -- almost as good as 5th century Athens!