It’s that time of year, when I check in with all of our queer MPs to see what they’ve been up to over the recent sitting, and today I’m starting with Liberal Mario Silva.
Q: What were your highlights and lowlights of the fall sitting?
A: We started off with a lot of enthusiasm that there would be a lot of cooperation, and we ended up with a lot of non-cooperating on a lot of materials and bills, so I think there’s a lot of improvement we could do as parliamentarians to work together to get the agenda done and through Parliament. We have a minority Parliament that takes seriously the issues of private member's bills, and when the government says that private member's bills are going to die in the Senate, I think it’s not in keeping with our democratic traditions, and I find that a little bit sad.
Q: Same question, but for the whole of 2010?
A: On the international scene, I think all of us were captivated by the Chilean miners, and that whole story of a sense of hopelessness, of fearing that they had all died, and then all of them were given life again – that was one of the most remarkable stories of the year. It certainly captivated everyone’s imagination worldwide, because we hear so many negative stories about what’s going on in Haiti, what’s happening in Afghanistan, all of the different crisis points in the world, and I think we’re all concerned about what’s taking place, but to have such a positive story come out of Chile gave a lot of hope to all of us – that good things can come out of disasters.
Q: Your biggest accomplishment of the session?
A: Personally I would say the conference we had on anti-Semitism, which was extremely well attended. I played a major role in that – we had almost 150 members of parliament from 50 different countries; the fact that we had all parties participating from the House, the fact that we had some very eminent and senior people speaking, incredible leading intellectuals – it was a great success, so that was certainly my highlight of the year.
Q: And any plans for the holidays?
A: Right now I’m staying home. I’ve been travelling too much, so I want to stay in my house, and with my constituents.