Thursday, June 26, 2008

Making MPs accountable

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear a last-ditch appeal by former Reform and Canadian Alliance MP Jim Pankiw to stop a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal investigation of anti-Aboriginal propaganda that he sent as a "householder" to his constituents. Needless to say, the usual "bring back residential schools and lock up Indian activists" crowd are plenty riled.

Well, who is this guy, and what did he say?

To give you the measure of the man, he once wrote to the president of the University of Saskatchewan, whining about the university's affirmative action policies and comparing their supporters to members of the Ku Klux Klan. Oddly, he didn't appear to mean this as a compliment. On racial matters, it seems that Pankiw's a bit of a lad. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, he enjoys the strong support of "White nationalist" Paul Fromm.

In any case, Pankiw, according to his admirers, just told the plain truth about them-there Injuns, and he, like Mark Steyn, has suffered a martyr's fate for it.

(Always beware those who speak of being "hauled" in front of a Human Rights Tribunal, by the way. The image of a winch affixed to the neck of a bigot is compelling, even in some cases spirit-lifting, but inaccurate. It was only after months of refusing mediation that he was even summoned. And so far Pankiw has done most of the hauling, taking the Tribunal to court after court. Yep, the real courts. Whatever happened to all that guff about the Tribunals being "kangaroo courts" as opposed to the "real" court system? Is this a case of marsupial creep?)

Pankiw mailed out a pamphlet to his constituents called "Indian Crime". Its contents were so objectionable that postal workers had to be forced to deliver it. And then another one, "It's clear who the racists are." He did this all on the taxpayers' nickel, and he's being held accountable for it.

Pankiw argued, unsuccessfully, that a HRT hearing constituted interference between an MP and his constituents. His ally Ezra Levant droned on about the "ancient legal custom of parliamentary privilege," as though that includes sending racist crap to innocent members of the public who happen to be in the targeted group.

Now, perform a little thought-experiment at this point. Imagine a pamphlet being circulated in your riding called "Black crime." Or "Jewish crime." Should an MP be permitted to circulate such racialist rubbish at your expense without being accountable to someone?

Bring on the hearing, I say, and let's get to the bottom of this. I suspect it's a long way down.

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