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LETTER: No need for heckling in P.E.I. legislature

The P.E.I. legislature chamber at the Coles Building.
The P.E.I. legislature chamber at the Coles Building. - SaltWire Network

I can’t believe you said that! Heckling is a long-standing tradition in our legislatures and should not be banned. What an outrageous statement. All provinces and territories do it, so we should too. Perhaps we should be trendsetters for a more respectful approach to good governance, instead of following the questionable lead of others.

In days gone by, when heckling was in vogue, women did not have the right to vote. That too was a long-standing tradition until fair play and common sense finally won out.

You are also suggesting that we won’t get straight answers to honest questions unless we allow heckling. Well, if we are to change the atmosphere in the legislature, then it behooves all MLAs to answer questions honestly and succinctly. It also behooves all MLAs to ask clear, honest questions.

To compare our legislature, or any legislature, to a baseball game or a tennis match is to insult the MLAs, the voters and our democratic system of government.

All 27 MLAs are elected to represent, and be the voice of, their constituents, and to collectively work together to serve the best interest of our Island population. To say we can’t have responsible government without heckling is condoning behaviour that would not be acceptable in the classroom, around the dinner table, or any public place. If we are to set examples for the younger generation, we really need to address and correct that type of behaviour.

I would like to think you made those comments just to see if your column is read. I only wish that were the case.

Shawn Landon,

Murray Harbour

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