Thursday, October 07, 2010

Liberals: "caving like spineless jellyfish"

So much for parliamentary privilege supremacy.*

The Conservative government stonewalls; the Liberals go along; and Speaker Peter Milliken's historic ruling on the ancient right of Parliament to send for documents and records is tossed into the dustbin of history.

Here's NDP MP Bill Siksay's motion. Here's Kady O'Malley's liveblog of what the Liberals did to it.

This extract, in which the star character is that serviceable trained seal Wayne Easter, is my favourite:

The real question, as far as Easter is concerned, is where the committee goes from here: back to the House to have the speaker rule, as was the case with the detainee documents? Or do they find "another approach," and see if there's "any good will on the part of the government" to "make the system work." Uh, is that a trick question?

Wow. Easter was actually serious with that last bit -- at least, as far as eating up time until he could announce that the minutes of the Procedure and House Affairs committee have been published, and lo and behold, there to his wondering eyes do behold that motion from Yasmin Ratansi to look at guidelines for testimony from exempt staffers. So basically, the Liberals are going to pretend that they're not
caving like spineless jellyfish. [emphasis added]

They can pretend not to be coalition partners with the Conservatives too. But this little slice of political life tells a different story. The Librocons score once again, the Canadian democratic deficit widens further, and this probably won't even make the evening news.


*While this is a matter of parliamentary privilege, the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy is specifically what is at issue here.

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