Hockey-starved Canucks pray for brawl as Peter Van Loan channels Darrel Stinson

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien gets up close and personal with a protester. Below: NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, Tory chuck-a-bub Peter Van Loan, Liberal Fuddle-Duddler Pierre Trudeau, New Democrat Nathan Cullen, known for his gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.

Maybe I’ve just spent too much time hanging around the dojo, but I don’t think most Canadians would have been particularly troubled if Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair had planted a well-placed social democratic boot on Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan’s ample behind yesterday afternoon.

Alert readers will by now be aware that Mr. Van Loan waddled across the two-and-a-quarter-sword-lengths aisle of the House of Commons burbling imprecations and dropping F-Bombs at the NDP’s unfailingly gentlemanly House Leader, Nathan Cullen, apparently because Mr. Cullen had failed to jump high enough, fast enough to comply with the Harperites’ authoritarian urges.

Mr. Van Loan’s ludicrously threatening behaviour only became a national outrage, however, when Mr. Mulcair stepped up to protect his House Leader and told the potty-mouthed Tory twerp to bug off, pronto. The Harperites and their media auxiliary were soon reflexively whinging about Mr. Mulcair’s temper. Oh please!

The assumption among Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s neoconservatives, I assume, is that anything you can do to lower the tone in Parliament is a good thing if it’ll turn folks who are not Tory diehards off voting. And anyway, they’ve been trying for months to paint Mr. Mulcair as an angry guy, so there’s a kind of twisted compliment in it if they’re trying to needle him as if he were the late Maurice “Rocket” Richard, the hot-tempered hockey great who was not unfamiliar with the penalty box.

So if Mr. Van Loan wants to channel Darrel Stinson, the last Reform Party thug to regularly do this sort of thing in the House of Commons, I guess that’s fine with the PM. Mind you, Mr. Stinson was a bigger man than Mr. Van Loan in every respect, including his hat, when he called Jean Charest a “fat little chubby little sucker” and challenged sundry Liberals to fisticuffs.

As for the chattering classes – who are mostly good at chattering, after all – their assumption is that argy-bargy is so déclassé it’s certain to put the voters off.

Well, I’m here to tell you, people, this ain’t necessarily so.

Look, I’m not advocating regular punch ups or chair throwing in the House of Commons, but I am saying that under these kinds of circumstances, Canadians wouldn’t have disapproved if Mr. Mulcair had given Mr. Van Loan a sound thump on keester.

I’m serious, people. Does anybody remember Jean Chrétien, back when he was our PM, grabbing that protester and giving him a good shake to get him the heck out of his face, or chasing the burglar through the halls of 24 Sussex with a potentially lethal Inuit soapstone carving while the Mounties snoozed blissfully next door?

If you were paying attention at the time, you’ll note that neither of these things did any harm to Mr. Chrétien’s reputation. Au contraire, most Canadians liked him all the more for them both.

Now that we mention it, nobody really minded the Trudeaus, pere et fils, famously telling those very sensitive souls on the Conservative benches to fuddle-duddle in 1971 or advising Environmental Degradation Minister Peter Kent in 2012 that he was a piece of … what was it again?

This is because real Canadians – not fat little Conservative doughboys who suck up to the gun lobby and pretend to like Tim Horton’s coffee but drink Pouilly-Fuissé at home in Rockcliffe with the curtains drawn – appreciate a man of action, especially if he stands up for his friends, as Mr. Mulcair was doing.

Well, Mr. Van Loan has now mumbled an insincere apology that tried to pin the blame on the other guy, or, seeing as Mr. Cullen is so well mannered, the other guy’s colleague. So presumably the whole thing’s blown over till the Tories send out their next enforcer to needle Mr. Mulcair.

Well, you can’t score goals from the penalty box, I guess. But maybe a bench-clearing brawl in the next-best arena would be just the thing to boost our flagging national spirits in this hockey-deprived season!

This post also appears on Rabble.ca.

8 Comments on "Hockey-starved Canucks pray for brawl as Peter Van Loan channels Darrel Stinson"

  1. the salamander says:

    I watched the footage once.. I’m not clear whether Mulcair even bothered to rise from his seat. You summed it up well, with one word.. waddled… finger wagging and knelt before Cullen to utter some sort of froth. Ho hum.. The national media jumped with electicity as if an election had been stolen, a war on the environment had been declared, or that Kim Kardashian was coming to town.

    A Harper toady had a dull tantrum then apologized. Who elected this oily creep? Why? Just another member of the Harper Government freakshow, along with Clemente and Kent, Oliver & Ashfield, Baird-Poilievre, Del Mastro/Fantino, Mackay and DeLorey.. the Party of pitiful sanctimonious political animals drones onward toward the petro Rapture and Israel.. and China

    I wish the Canadian people that Peter Van Loan represents would step forward.. tell us all what a great job he’s doing of representing their riding, their wishes, their needs. From what I can see he’s an overfed drone servicing and spewing the pedantic froth that Stephen Harper is all about. Has anyone gone into Van Loan’s York-Simcoe riding to see if its now inhabited by zombies or robots? I thought it included First Nations, immigrants, farmers, manufacturing .. lots of good common sense Canadians.

  2. Tom in Ontario says:

    My, my it seems Mr. Van Loan despite his outsize proportions can move quickly when he wants to. Since those of his ilk seem obsessed by the imagined transgressions by members of other parties perhaps he could use that speed and intimidating presence to go head to head with that object of their hatred for years anyone named Trudeau. Ever since their Senator Brazeau got whupped by young Justin a few months ago is there any doubt Harper’s minions and Sun News would love to find a pugilist ready and eager to put the hurt on the upstart Montrealer? Mr. Van Loan, you’d have a decided weight advantage. Are you up to the job?

  3. Bruce says:

    Maybe it’s time to let Mr. Mulcair play with some more edge and in hindsight this may have been a missed opportunity. It won’t really have hurt the NDP or Mulclair much if he’d given The Waddling Loon a poke on the jaw to see if it’s made of glass!

    Batman and Robin won’t have missed it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EEyQIAemn0

    I suspect Mr. Van Loan would have taken a dive and feigned injury, much like Claude Lemieux did in a 1989 playoff game against Calgary when Pat Burns made him crawl back to the bench! What would the Speaker Andrew Scheer would have done?

    Turn off the lights like the Czech authorities did with the Piestany Punchout against the old Soviet Union in 1987! That’s what!

    At any rate, Mr. Van Loan most certainly would have turtled and we would have had a CanCon version of The Penguin not named Mario Lemieux!

  4. ronmac says:

    Most distressing in all this is once again, when handed a golden opportunity to make inroads with the rock-en, sock-em vote, the NDP failed miserably.

    What Muclair should have done over is skate over and nail him from behind. His approval rating would have soared.

    You see, parliament is like hockey. The job of leader is to protect his star players, the enforcer.

    Sure there would have been people in his own constituency upset over this. The politically correct crowd who would have considered it “conduct unbecoming a leader.”

    But where else is the progressive vote going to go? To the Liberals under Justin? The Greens?

    On second thought maybe Muclair should have stayed put. Please disregard the above.

  5. anonymous says:

    “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here – this is the war room!”

  6. jerrymacgp says:

    @anon3:08, kudos for posting that clip. It was most apropos.

  7. Filostrato says:

    Mulcair vs The Blob – do you think DC Comics will take it up?

    Probably all Mr. Mulcair or Mr. Cullen had to do was reach out a finger (not necessarily the middle one) and give Van Loan a tiny push and he would have keeled over and rolled right out the door of the HoC.

    It’s very tempting, though, to wish to become proficient in a martial art, perhaps bak mei, which sounded pretty impressive when described by Ian Hamilton in his Ava Lee novels. It would seem that height and bulk aren’t necessary. And, of course, there’s Mr. Climenhaga’s own discipline.

    And yes, the lovely Darryl “Male Organs of Reproduction” Stinson – what a class act (not) he was. If I remember it correctly, he used the pointed finger and trembling jowls to great effect in his confrontation in the HoC. Whatever happened to him, anyway? Not that I really want to know…

    And that pathetic “apology” by Van Loan the next day? It looked like someone had taken him to the woodshed (or perhaps the barn, in his case) the day before and then sent him out with a piece of paper to read from the next day. It was probably one of the army of unelected but hugely expensive (to Canadians) advisors to the Con party, the ones who seem to be running things from behind the scenes all the time. Nothing would surprise me in Harperland. Like paying to be mugged.

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