Following the lead of Major League Baseball, Canada’s House of Commons will today begin employing the use of on-the-field video fact checking, in an attempt to address the increasingly flagrant misdirection and gamesmanship being played on both sides of the aisle.
The new rule comes alongside a suite of changes aimed at making the House more viewer friendly, which include: a timer to ensure 30 seconds elapse between personal attacks; a penalty box for hyperbole, cross-facting, and rough estimating; and an extremely loud horn to be sounded whenever someone presents a fact, in its entirety, without partisanship or bias.
Support for the new measures remains tepid amongst members of Parliament; while being very, very high with everyone else in Canada.
“Obviously I never misrepresent the truth so see no problem with this,”said Andrew Scheer, while managing to maintain a straight face and, at the same time, rapidly drafting a proposal to exempt all leaders of the opposition with names that rhyme with ‘beer’ from having their statements reviewed.
For his part, Prime Minister Trudeau took a surprising tact, boldly likening the truth to an extra-large pipeline.
“It’s not always popular. It’s not always attractive. Uh, did I mention it can be unpopular? And, yes, it’s just a matter of time before it leaks and makes a horrible mess. But the people of Canada deserve it and that’s why I’m going to ram it through.” Trudeau look expectantly up at the Truth Horn, but it remained silent.
“Some of the people of Canada deserve it while many others don’t?” he added hopefully, to no avail.
“And I’m actually just doing it to try to bolster my falling numbers in key Alberta ridings and amongst fiscal conservatives.” Still nothing.
“Which is almost certainly futile.” A deafening blast filled Parliament.
At this point Scheer rose and used the first of the three challenges each party is allowed per day, to ask for a fact check on pipelines making messes. While the umpires congregated in the middle of the house to await the official ruling, Parliament paused and watched the newly installed Jumbotron display trivia about Canadian politics (did you know the first Indigenous leader of a major political party has yet to happen?)
Eventually the umpires took off their headsets, looked at one another briefly, and then made the signal for ‘safe.’ Trudeau pumped his fist while the Liberals poured Gatorade over his head, and the Conservatives booed lustily. Scheer schook his head, and signalled to the bullpen to get Bernier up and throwing. It was a beautiful day for a bill game.