Canadian MP demands trick photography to disguise rampant Friday absenteeism in Parliament

A Canadian Conservative MP has asked for an end to medium-wide camera shots in the broadcasts of Parliament on Friday afternoons. Fridays are when many MPs travel to their home ridings (districts) and Parliament empties out. The medium-wide shots used by Parliamentary broadcasts reveals a largely empty House of Commons. Worried about how bad this looked, Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski chaired a committee to revise the broadcast rules, and asked the CIO's office to end medium-wide shots, because it reflected badly on Parliament. The CIO turned him down.

Tom Lukiwski said he has heard concerns from colleagues that the empty seats picked up on camera make politicians look bad. "That kind of concerns a lot of members that it frankly doesn't look good for Parliament," he said. Friday is usually a light day in the House, as many MPs vacate Ottawa to return to their constituencies. A House of Commons committee reviewing the broadcasting rules this week heard from Parliament's chief informa-tion officer, who said wide-angle shots have been permitted since 1992 to provide some context for viewers at home. "You are on camera," Louis Bard told the committee. "If I have to focus on the chair and the member behind is sleeping, there's not much I can do."

Conservative MP worried empty seats make the House of Commons look bad (via As It Happens)


  1. I wish the Tories would spend more time worrying about the facts an less time worrying about perception.

  2. Typical.

    If there’s a problem, cover it up rather than solve it.

    If there was rampant absenteeism in other workplaces, people would lose their jobs. Just another example of our tax dollars at work.

  3. Didn’t this happen a while back with C-Span in the good ol’ USA? Congress was up in arms about the lowly home viewer being able to see that there was only one Representative in the chamber, making an impassioned speech about dairy subsidies while everyone else was out stumping for reelection. Shocking!

  4. Conservatives: Lazy, rich, privileged, lying, socially backwards oligarchs. We let them, and by extension big business, run our country. I mean internet surveillance? Insane copyright policy? Who do these things benefit? Certainly not average Canadian citizens, and you know, if the Conservatives don’t want to ‘look bad’ maybe they ought to WORK ON FRIDAY LIKE THE REST OF US. I’m so pissed about the people who run my country. I wish the boomers would just DIE OFF already.

      1. Hey, I never said *I* ought to be running things, just that maybe when you’ve got people legislating the internet who don’t even know how it works, you don’t have a system of governance that’s gonna set us up really well for the future. We’ve got this amazing technology that lets us break down barriers between people who’ve traditionally been told by their governments to hate each other (witness the net’s influence on the Arab Spring) and they’re pissing it away, limiting it for the short term business interests of industries that should already have been made obsolete. I think my calling them socially backwards is fair, and okay, I’m an emotional fella and it’s wrong to blame ‘the boomers’ for all our problems but there’s a grain of truth in my frothy rant, okay? It’s the internet, take it with a grain of salt, you crusty old man ;)

        1. Look I understand the beef with boomers but don’t overestimate today’s youth.  I’ve seen lots of cases of companies hiring young people, assuming they would be all over PC technology and social media only to find they knew zip and 50 and 6o year olds had to bail them out.

          I do have a concern that the Occupiers e.g. have inherited the worst of boomer hippiedom and believe me, that’ll get us nowhere fast.

          On the Arab Spring: yes technology had a lot to do with it but if you really believe the revolution has liberated those countries, you’re off the mark.  Let’s hope it gets there eventually but in the interim all it’s done is shake off some petty tyrants and allowed the real hard liners to get power.  Watch and see.  You have to read beyond the MSM to know this. I follow some of the leaders (Egypt/Libya) via Twitter and they’re realizing it’s going to be a long struggle.

          Yes I am a crusty old man. My mom predicted I would be one and frighten children.  I’m still working on the last part.

      2.  Actually I think it’s a valid statement. I hold the boomers PERSONALLY responsible for allowing themselves to be tricked, manipulated and walked over. Their ignorant trusting naive lifestyle has RUINED this planet and it will take the work of people WITH a god damn clue to fix it.

        I think I can say with certainty that the world is waiting for all the “old guard” politicians, Generals and money men to DIE OFF from old age or natural causes.

        The people they are grooming to replace them will have a MUCH harder time creating sustainable powers bases when more and more people are discovering how they play the game.

        the next 20 years will be interesting.

        1.  Hey, some of us ‘old guard’ have been fighting this crap since before you were a gleam in your daddies eye. Don’t lump us all together you snot nosed whiny Rap singing  Biyatch.

  5. I think they should put GPS trackers on all elected officials with an online giant map showing where they’re at (home/office/gay bath house, etc).  Perhaps equip them with audio/video camera so we can see what they’re up to.  All the name of transparency, eh?

    1. Tracking anklets with their location accurate to within say… 100′ and publish it on the front of their riding’s home page.

      Your MP is HERE! —-> (but (s)he should be here. —-X )


      1.  “Currently meeting with lobbyist XYZ (4th meeting in 3 months) about pending bill 1234. Lobbyist XYZ contributed $xxxxxxx.yy to campaign in the last year. Has voted in favor of this lobbyist 4 out of 4 times in the last year. Options: Sort voting record in favor of lobbyists according to campaign contributions – high to low.”

  6. It hardly matters.  Parliament is irrelevant.  At best it’s an electoral college that chooses a God King once every 4 to 5 years.  The Reform-a-Tories have a majority and their MPs get their voting orders from the Party Whip: they’re just trained seals who raise their arms on command.  Even if it was a minority government the leader of the governing party can just send a text message to the Governor General to have the house dissolved if it annoys him.

    100% of the power in the Canadian Government is concentrated in the Prime Minister’s Office and the faceless Mandarins therein.

    1. Probably better to remove eyes from voters… just call it the “Extract system fail visual observation organs… to protect kids from porn” Act.

  7. What a dick. Especially because the solution is just a matter of re-framing the discussion.
    “So, why is it that hardly anyone’s in the house of Friday?”
    “Well I’m not there because I was in my constituency, listening to my electors problems, making sure that I knew how to best represent them.”

  8. Just speculating here, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit that like-minded MPs, as well as US Congresscritters who disapprove of C-SPAN, would love a London-style setup of CC cameras to keep a constant eye on the general proletariat.

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