Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sanity and Parliament Prevail

Statement from the Liberal Party of Canada:


Published on April 27, 2010

Ottawa – Liberal MPs are declaring victory in the wake of a ruling by the Speaker of the House of Commons that reaffirms the right of Parliament to review Afghan detainee torture documents.

“The Speaker’s ruling recognizes that in our system of government, Parliament is supreme – not the Prime Minister,” said Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale. “The Harper government must abide by the Speaker’s ruling and negotiate the disclosure of the documents in question in a way that is mindful of national security – as we have agreed to do all along.

”In his ruling, Mr. Milliken gave the House Leaders, ministers and party critics two weeks to address the impasse by establishing a mechanism for MPs to review the documents without compromising national security. He also reaffirmed the role of parliamentarians to hold government to account as an indisputable privilege and obligation, which entails a broad, absolute power to order documents, without restriction or limit by the Executive. The Speaker expressed his hope that accommodations could be made that allow MPs to be entrusted with the information while protecting national security, in keeping with the inherent trust that Canadians have placed in their elected officials.

“Following Mr. Milliken’s ruling, the government now has a window of opportunity to negotiate in good faith a reasonable process that respects Parliamentarians right to review this documentation,” said Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic Bob Rae. “We believe that it is possible to satisfy the opposition’s demands for openness and transparency on the detainee scandal while maintaining national security.”

“Where there are legitimate national security concerns revolving around this documentation, we will most certainly consider the government’s position,” said Liberal Defence Critic Ujjal Dosanjh. “But let’s be clear: we are not prepared to allow the government to hide behind national security issues where none exist.

”On December 10, 2009, the House of Commons passed a motion requesting disclosure of Afghan detainee documentation. The Conservatives refused to comply with the motion, even going so far as to shut down Parliament entirely.

The Conservative government has continued to cover-up politically damaging information, using national security as a blanket excuse. Most recently, hearings by the Military Police Complaints Commission into the handling of Afghan detainees have been put in jeopardy again because the government refuses to disclose requested documentation.

“We want a reasonable approach to these negotiations that will satisfy us that there is not simply more political interference taking place,” Mr. Goodale concluded. “We are willing to address the government’s legitimate concerns, but the Speaker has made it clear that more stonewalling will not work


Anonymous said...

Already the Connies are getting out their echo machine with:
Seen this movie before... EI last summer. Iggy will talk really tough, then accept some token measure to avoid the polls.
- Kory Teneycke

Gov. is right. Crown prerogative is about Ntl security (& not new). This is all about electoral politics for Liberals & sport for the media.

- Kory Teneycke

He is partly right.
The Connies have been doing all they can to make sure no one seems the documents. We can see to what lengths they have gone to try and change the channel... The Connies are the ones playing politics and hiding the truth.

Two weeks gives Iggy and Harper a chance find a solution that both makes them look like winners and avoid an election - sadly the truth will be the victim.

RuralSandi said...

You read the headlines - Iran/lack of democracy, Thailand and it makes you appreciate our system. No system perfect, but boy are we lucky.

Harper, who toots democracy - his big thing is extra election voting days and the senate and yet constantly attacks our institutions and our parliament.

O/T - where's Red Tory been these days - he okay?

Fred from BC said...

Cherniak_WTF said...

Two weeks gives Iggy and Harper a chance to find a solution that both makes them look like winners and avoids an election - sadly the truth will be the victim.

Perhaps. But who will the public side with? Given the antics of some opposition members and the security leaks that have happened in the past, who would you trust with sensitive national security information?

(keeping in mind that there are also other nations involved here..)

And how would you 'swear in' any Bloc MP's to secrecy when they can't swear any allegiance to Canada? Would you leave them out, and accept the political fallout?

KNB said...

Security leaks? Name them.

One I can think of is Guergis identifying where Dion was going to be in Afghanistan before he got there.

Most members of the opposition parties have been MP's longer than gov't MP's and gasp, some have even been in gov't responsible for state secrets.

As for the Bloc, they swear allegience to the crown when being sworn in as MP's, but that aside, being sworn as a member of the PC is not the only solution.

Tomm said...

The Liberal's should force an election over this. They shouldn't compromise but stick with their allies and bring the government down.

Except that if they do, they die.

Harper will get his majority. This issue is not a vote getter. Those that are engaged are already engaged. Canadian's don't want our soldiers pegged as war criminals.

Omar said...

"Harper will get his majority."


Oh, Tomm. You do make me laugh. The CPoC may very well procure a majority someday, but under Harper that will never, ever happen. I sincerely believe you know this so why offer up such a false declaration? Does it make you feel good to be held up as a blind acceptor of nonsense?

Tomm said...


My guitar gently weeps for the LPC. Every 6 months or so they are certain they are getting traction. They climb a couple steps bellowing incoherently about the evil empire, and then slide back three.

The CPC floor is somewhere around 30-32%. They occasionally raise it to 38%. The LPC floor use to be 30% but every six months they seem to drop a couple more percentage points from their core. Their floor is now somewhere around 25%.

Harper may never win a majority. This would be to Canada's detriment. But if you really want him gone, I suggest that the LPC keep pulling that election lever. Eventually, Harper will tire of campaigning and pass the mantle to some one else.

But I think differently. As soon as the LPC pulls that lever, they lose 5% (if they aren't already at their floor) and the CPC gains 5%. Without a mid-campaign scandal, that will run right through election day.

If the LPC really wanted to govern, Dion would never have allowed their coalition letter to be made public prior to the vote.

If they want to govern now, they need a coalition that includes the BQ. And they can't be shy about it.

Fred from BC said...

KNB said...

Security leaks? Name them.

One I can think of is Guergis identifying where Dion was going to be in Afghanistan before he got there.

That's one. Maxime Bernier would be another...but then, so would Ujjal Dosanjh, Gerard Kennedy and Dawn Black (and probably a couple of others if I take the time to think about it)...

KNB said...

Not sure about Dawn Black, but the Ujjal and Gerard incidents were hardly issues of security.