Back to school

Former Victoria-Hillside provincial Liberal legislator Sheila Orr has made her return to the Rockpile. Ms. Orr, who ran in the last federal election as the Grit candidate in Saanich-Gulf Islands has been appointed governor general - of this year's University Model Parliament, which gets underway tonight and runs until Sunday.


The University Model Parliament is great, but always wondered why the real youth political groups don't get together for debate in the legislature when the legislature isn't sitting.

How about a weekend session with the BC Young Liberals as a de-facto fictional government, with the BC Young New Democrats as a fictional opposition? Shelia Orr in that context would be
Madam Speaker. The president of the BC Young Liberals would be "Premier" and the president of the BC Young New Democrats would be "Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition". With the correct corresponding number of BC Young Liberals and BCYND's holding seats.

The concept would be good, but has never ever been done since provincial party youth organizations have existed.

Would teach the young pups the ins and outs of legislative procedure.

Rather than continually spending time praising their respective leaders a skill which doesn't have much value in political life later on when
it comes to running a riding or a complicated campaign.

Sean can be an equivalent to Vaughn Palmer and report on the session.

God Sean you scared the hell out of me - I thought for a minute she was running again...

I quibble with Victor that what he proposes has never been done, as I recall attending a university parliament in about 1990-91 down at the rockpile as the MP for Okanagan (Vernon maybe?) where the seats were assigned according to votes garnered by campus clubs of the "three oldline parties" in ballot boxes in Us and Cs across the province.
We in the NDP were her majesty's loyal opposition, the Tories official, and the government was ably led by then PM ... wait for it ... Christie Clark. Except I think C.C.'s house leader may not have been entirely on the ball as the Libs lost a confidence vote or could not answer the whip and lost government for part of the afternoon.
It was my first and pretty much last intensive interaction with a large group composed entirely of young pols. It was something to have done.

Mr. Heaney is right. In fact, the UMP is an annual event and, while held at the BC Legislature, it's modelled on the Federal Parliament. It even has a mock Senate. (I realize that last remark is just begging for a witty retort!)

I make a point of publicizing the UMP in my political science classes at Langara College every Fall. I took part in several model parliaments in Edmonton in the 1970s and early 1980s and had a blast. It's a great way for young people to learn about parliamentary government and party politics. I think it's especially useful today as so many politically minded youth have an almost instinctive aversion to political parties. As a result, youth are under-represented in the ranks of parties, which in turn makes the parties less attentive to the needs of young people than they might otherwise be.

I can reach even further back into time than can Heaney. I was part of a similarly constructed model parliament in 1975 and sat on the front bench with Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, the NDP. I don't recall that the model parliament did anything of substance although we did have lots of fun thumping our desks and heckling each other.

To Heaney,

If Jonathon Will was the PM, I was at that one too as Minister of the Air Force after we reversed the unification of the Armed Forces.

We went to war with Sweden and invoked the War Measures Act.

I was convinced to be at UMP in 1989 by people trying to convince me that the YND was relevant for something. Interesting selection of famous and infamous people were there at that one.

1989 was the year that someone from UMP thought it would be fun idea to drop beer bottles from the top floor of the Executive House Hotel on the parked cars below.

NDP was government that time and yes I did sit as a New Democrat minister. A few bills weer passed, none of any major significance other than declaring a Surrey a distinct society. The whole thing seemed to be oriented towards how much people could drink or do in drugs over the weekend.

Hey Sean

You and everyone else should come out and watch the Senate tomorrow at noon...and perhaps all those former participants who are posting could come out and participate...afterall, they're Senators for life. Will that change though if we start electing Senators in Canada?

I guess Sheila Orr needed a job so somebody bailed her out.

Barnard, you say that the NDP was the government when you were there in 1989. Funny how the NDP didn't get elected to government until 1991.

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