Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bottoms up!

No wonder the job of House of Commons Speaker is a stiff competition. Not only do you get a residence and chauffeur, you get to choose the scotch you will drink and serve over your term (SP Jan. 10/12.)

This relatively new tradition, adopted from Britain in 2003 by retired Speaker Peter Milliken, is a pretty nice perk if you are a scotch drinker - and I will assume if your not a scotch drinker when you started in office, you will be when you leave.

To the credit of current Speaker, Andrew Scheer, he didn't go for the cheap stuff or the most expensive libation. And he did do the selection democratically by inviting House members to a tasting and let them cast a vote.

Apparently House Members can buy this gift, and get is signed by the Speaker, for a mere $75 a bottle. Not knowing the liquor board price for this scotch, I want to assume that price includes the heavy tax placed on booze. He also states the initiative is a full cost recovery, save for the nominal label costs, and that House Members buy it out of pocket - although I'm not sure whose pocket he's talking about.

I don't expect to receive this gift bottle from my MP, or to be invited to the Speaker's residence for a nip. I'll just watch for snoozing MPs and figure out for myself who is on the guest list.

Only in Ottawa.

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