Sleepy MP Rob Anders: Staying awake is the least he can deliver
Published Friday, March 2, 2012 9:51PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, June 5, 2012 10:44AM EDT
Calgary Conservative MP Rob Anders has graduated from being one of the worst MPs in Parliament to merely being the sleepiest.
This five-term miracle of an MP, who has done little to justify his longevity, nodded off in camera range during a Question Period last fall. This week, several witnesses report he dozed during a veterans committee meeting while MPs were being briefed on a program to help homeless vets.
Anders denies all of course, retreating to the mistaken and desperate smearing of his accusers as NDP sympathizers who support Russian President Vladmir Putin. Nobody can quite figure out what he means by either flailing accusation.
Rob Anders has no onerous parliamentary duties to sap his energy. He’s without ministerial portfolio or committee chair duties to crowd his daytimer. He doesn’t even make the cut for Friday Question Periods when the talent of third-stringers are showcased to a mostly empty Commons.
Yet, well-connected Postmedia journalist David Pugliese was told that Anders was yawning at his arrival for a meeting in Halifax on Tuesday, fell asleep during the conversation and bolted from the meeting as soon as it was over.
Lest we forget, MPs earn almost $160,000 a year and 40-year-olds like Anders are already in line for ludicrously generous pensions at age 55. Attending committees are a big part of their job and there’s an unwritten rule they should actually stay conscious during the proceedings.
For reasons never made clear, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has always supported Anders for his party’s nomination in Calgary despite a groundswell of opposition to his ongoing candidacy.
Perhaps Canadians should be relieved Anders has stopped behaving badly, like the time he denounced former South Africa president Nelson Mandela as a terrorist or compared the Beijing Olympics to Olympics hosted under Nazi rule.
For these and many other transgressions, Anders has been placed deep in the ranks of nobody MPs and ordered to tread lightly so as to leave no lasting impression on anybody.
On that score, he’s been successful. Given the considerable exertion it takes for Anders to remain invisible, being alert might be too much to ask. Staying awake is the least he can deliver.