PARLIAMENT HILL—Four days of filibustering the Liberals’ attempt to expedite House rule changes was a product of Conservative and New Democrat backroom collaborative efforts to present a “unified front” in the face of what the opposition called “political thuggery” from the Liberal government.

In interviews with The Hill Times during and proceeding the initial four days of filibustering—which is scheduled to resume when MPs return to the Hill on Monday, April 3—opposition MPs on the Procedure and House Affairs Committee detailed the joint efforts taken to present what NDP MP David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre, Ont.) called a “unified effort” responding to the government’s attempt to push through changes to the Standing Orders, the rules that govern MPs, by the summer without all-party support.

The opposition response to the Liberals’ “political thuggery” was about protecting as many procedural tools as possible that allow the opposition to slow down the government, Mr. Christopherson said.

“If our rights are lost, it’s not just the official opposition or the third party, it’s all of us. … We’re working very closely,” he said.

“Nothing is more important to us right now than stopping the government from unilaterally changing how we do democracy here in Parliament. … It’s so important that you’ve got the NDP and the Conservatives arm in arm, singing Kumbaya, and nothing right now is going to phase us from continuing this fight,” he said.

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