Dr.Dawg

Breach of privilege trifecta: so what?

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Milliken.jpg

* yawn *

Speaker Peter Milliken has just handed down two more privilege rulings against the Harper Government.

Milliken said the government breached parliamentary privilege by refusing to provide all documents the opposition requested detailing the full cost of its crime bills and tax cuts.

Milliken said MPs are entitled to know the initiatives’ exact costs.

In a second ruling issued Wednesday, Milliken found that International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda breached parliamentary privilege by misleading MPs when she claimed she did not know who altered an official document that denied funding to a faith-based aid organization.

The first ruling was, if you can remember that far back, over the question of releasing records of Afghan detainees (including children) handed over by the Canadian forces to Karzai government security, notorious for its use of torture. That was issued nearly a year ago, on April 27, 2010.

How many records have been released since? Zip.

The Ignatieff Liberals were content, as it turned out, to make what proved to be a merely rhetorical point. They refused to press their advantage to secure the actual release of the trove of documents, and the NDP, disgusted, finally walked away. The Libs, meanwhile, have been stringing us along for months and months and months.

The Military Police Complaints Commission inquiry into the issue, self-resuscitated in 2010 a few months after Harper gave its Chair the boot and declined to name a successor, has been effectively hamstrung. Ditto the House of Commons Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan.

Parliament—that collection of elected representatives that constitutes the only national democracy we’ve got—has been given the bird with impunity too many times and in too many ways to count. Liberal complicity cannot be ignored. The Libs still see themselves as successors to the Harper Party, and have no intention of curbing their own executive powers should they someday form the government.

Tweedledum. Tweedledee.

All the Speaker’s rulings in the world cannot restore democracy to this country when the two major parties effectively ignore them. Now there is talk of a Liberal non-confidence motion, somehow linked to the two new ones. I’ll believe it when I see it.

In the meantime, good going, Mr. Speaker. A pity that no one’s really listening.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr.Dawg published on March 9, 2011 5:02 PM.

Limousine Conservatives was the previous entry in this blog.

Hassan Diab: hearing over, judgement expected in June is the next entry in this blog.

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