Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ben's trip to the Legislature today

I went to the legislature with my 13 year old son today and he got a tour a unique tour of the building from MLA John Horgan.  John invited Ben on this tour and a chance to meet because Ben is a youth that has joined a the NDP to vote in the leadership race.   John first encountered Ben was he was 11 and asked Jack Layton during the 2008 federal election if the NDP supports youth voting.

A tunnel entrance
On the tour it is very clear that John has a love for the living history of the building.  His years working as an aide from 1991 to 2001 gave him some unique an interesting access to the building.   He pointed out where some of the tunnels are in the building.  I had no idea that there was a tunnel from the Legislature to the Douglas Building across Government Street.

I was reminded how much I like John.  I may have some disagreement with on certain economic issues and on the issue of party discipline, but I know he would be a good leader for the NDP, their best since Harcourt.

Ben had a chance to get to know on John on a personal level - we will see how that translates into who he supports for leader.   I think he has decided to support John, he put his John Horgan button back on as soon as we left the gallery (Heather, if you are reading this, you should recruit him for your campaign.)

The tour was not one where Ben was asking John questions of a political nature, but more of one where Ben got to know John as a person with a passion for our democratic system.  We ran into Adrian Dix and Ben got a chance to meet a second major candidate for the NDP leadership.

After our tour Ben and I had lunch in the Legislative Dining Room, which is open to the public.  From there we watched question period. I personally do not like the theatre of question period, it does little to improve the governance of this province.  If we had other legislative venues for the opposition to take on the government we would not need QP.   A good committee system would help with this.

Ben was introduced for the first time in the Legislature today.
J. Horgan: I want to recognize in the gallery two individuals — one, Bernard von Schulmann, here from the Capital Region, and also, for aspiring leadership candidates on both sides of the House, his son Ben, who has taken out a membership in a party that I will not disclose, so keep your p's and q's on both sides of the House. Would you please welcome Ben von Schulmann, a newly activated partisan of indeterminate nature.
BC Law Enforcement Memorial
Afterwards we took some time to walk around the building to see all the various memorials.  One that I went out of my way to show Ben is the one at the back of the building, the BC Law Enforcement Memorial which has on it the names of all the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in BC since 1858.
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