Juan de Fuca NDP MLA John Horgan knows he crossed the line when he called out the blustering theatrics of Kevin Krueger, the B.C. Liberal MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson.
However, the worst thing about this incident is the dishonour it brought to an outdated parliamentary system that tolerates behaviour that modern society no longer will.
Horgan and Krueger shared headlines after their Monday morning exchange.
In case you missed it, after enduring a barrage of hectoring from Krueger on May 28, Horgan shot back with a comment that suggested his opponent drank too much wine with breakfast.
Horgan later regretted making the comment, though he stopped short of a full apology (he did apologize to deputy speaker Linda Reid after calling her out for failing to take charge and muffle Krueger).
For his part, Krueger simply dismissed Horgan’s comments much as he does any comments he disagrees with.
Krueger has a reputation for his loud voice even among a chamber of shouters. You can argue he has been effective at both shutting down opposition speakers – he also made headlines after heckling independent MLA Vicki Huntington back in February – and at keeping his name in the news.
To be sure, debates of the highest level must be open for various forms of expression. That includes speaking loudly or even yelling at select moments. But done to the extent Krueger does is beyond crossing the line.
The expectation of his booming hectoring has done nothing to add to the discussions needed to govern our province.
Indeed, one of the most prominent campaigns underway has been Premier Christy Clark’s anti-bullying initiative.
How can anyone take her seriously if she sits by while one of her party’s members is allowed to rudely shout down people?
Is government so afraid that if the opposition actually gets a chance to speak they might say something the public wants to hear?