I have real concerns about the Commentary, "Time out and come back co-operating" by Lyn Cockburn of Sun Media. It was in the December 12, 2008 paper-edition of Portage Daily Graphic newspaper (Portage la Prarie, Manitoba) and can be found online at http://www. portagedailygraphic.com/PrintArticle.aspx?e=1344329

The Commentary starts out as two adults having a conversation about children, and it is hard to imagine a situation that appeals more to people's sensibilities - and emotions - than our children. Possibly that is how I almost overlooked the rough and abusive behavior that plays-out in the story's classroom. There is a "fight", "yelling", and a "push or shove" among children in-class, it goes on regularly, and sounds common-place. It is seditious that the Instructor does not note, or deal with the abuses in-time because that means she doesn't do the legally-required things to stop it. Then moral of the story, though, is about the problems in Ottawa. The author suggests "time-out" and hugging will start to correct the problems, and that sounds nice, but it is wrong: The punishment must suit the crime. We must recognize that the scope, depth and length of the problems in Ottawa are gravely underestimated. In fact, Mr. Harper called it "...the greatest political game in (Canadian) history". Here's why: According to offical government documents such as "Debates of The House of Commons" (available online), bad behavior has been going on, and getting worse, for sometime. It seems to me it started out with some "scandals", blaming, and a lot of finger pointing. Finger-pointing about regional, social, and economic differences across the country, that didn't get settled to MPs, and some citizens, satisfaction. The seditionist behaviors were complex and sophisticated, not comparable at all to basic violence amongst children.

Violations of all kinds, include violation of federal laws, flaunting rules of decorum, breaches of priviledge; disregarding parliamentary policies & practices. Cases of political interference with hiring & firing of senior civil servants, and functioning of boards. Abuse of democratic process such as meddling and undermining committees, calling unnecessary confidence votes, unneccesary elections; mis-interpretations & mis-representations of facts & opinions; deception, deflection, treachery; and, allegations of Treason. Recent patronage appointments (rightly or wrongly) are coming to light. The Economic Outlook was, quite frankly, incompetence, "...that broke the camel's back".

If you review the Debates online, or surf through the "House of Commons Procedure and Practice" book online, you would get an honest appreciation of the problem, and maybe recognize what can be done, quite properly, to ensure Good government.

A "time-out" and hugging is a woefully inadequate and suspiciously conservative solution that is contemptuous really, considering the length, depth & scope of the 'problems'. The bad behaviors can not go unchecked and the majority of MPs have many good reasons to vote "no-confidence" in the Conservative Ministry.

If Prime Minister Harper or Minister Flaherty are still soliciting input, they could consult World Business Press Online who report, "Coalition of the willing supported by the majority of Canadian population is the only reasonable solution".

By Charles Laverie

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