USHER OF THE BLACK ROD OUT, PARLIAMENTARY WHIPPING BOY IN
by Uni Blogger and nonamedufus
OTTAWA (S&A) – In one of the most significant changes to a British-style House of Parliament in over 500 years, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today that he has eliminated the Canadian Senate’s Usher of the Black Rod and replaced it with the Parliamentary Whipping Boy.
A press briefing package accompanying the announcement described the moves as part of the Conservative government’s “… ongoing incremental package of changes to parliament especially as they relate to the Senate.” The briefing note went on to say that since the Usher of the Black Rod is effectively the Senate’s Sergeant-at-Arms, and since that chamber is used primarily for napping, the Usher’s role could easily be handled by the House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms. The document further explained that “ … because the role of Whipping Boy was created by British monarchs three hundred years after the creation of the Black Usher, this change is further proof that the Government is serious about modernizing Parliament.”
End of the line for Usher
MP Pierre Poiliviere, age 31, who recently secured his life-time parliamentary pension after six years of service, has been named by Harper as the first Parliamentary Whipping Boy. Until today, Poiliviere was MP for a suburban Ottawa riding. He was also Parliamentary Secretary to the prime minister where he earned the moniker PM’s Powder Monkey in reference to all of the unnecessary political fires he has started over the course of his short career.
Caught in a scrum, Harper, who will soon be visiting China, where his statements on China’s human rights record have enraged its government, says he wants Poilievre in place and with him on the trip “ … in case they take what I say so hard that they try to whip me. “
Poiliviere promoted from PM’s pit bull to parliamentary whipping boy
Asked by a reporter how he intends to use the Whipping Boy in parliament, the PM replied: “Well, of course as Prince of Parliament, I’ll take a few whacks at him myself from time to time. But I also see him as a great tension release for cabinet members. For instance there are times when John Baird is just frothing in Question Period – and that’s no good because he gets spittle all over the front bench. Well, I could just assign the Parliamentary Whipping Boy to that member to bring on some tension relief”
In an unusual development, Poiliviere was unavailable for comment.