Today Tony Clement goes before a Parliamentary committee. It should be a real ordeal for him. It likely won't be however, as the Conservative majority will do what it takes to stifle real debate here. John Baird, his babysitter, will do his best to protect Clement during the questioning. Will Tony look to John before he answers a question and will he use something other than talking points meant to avoid the subject?
During every question period since the election, the NDP have demanded answers from Tony. It has been, almost always, John Baird that has stood to respond. Baird is Harper's most capable parliamentarian, he can respond to any question without notes, without a big binder of talking points. He is the master of not answering a question.
In fact question period is only that. The NDP stand up and ask a question, the Conservatives stand up and respond doing their best not to answer it. Question period has become a joke. Sometimes the NDP will ask the same question several times in both languages. Every Conservative who rises to respond, uses the same words as the one before.
So today Tony will likely have to respond to some tough questions from the NDP at the committee. Questions he has avoided answering in the House of Commons. It won't look good if he uses John Baird's stock answers, but that will be okay. Its three years to the next election. Nothing to see here, move on now.
see CBC's Greg Weston's column today:
ANALYSIS: 5 questions Clement must answer on G8 spending