Saturday, March 20, 2010

Parliamentary Supremacy is not a political gambit

I know that I am in the minority but I still have many reservations with the idea of having an election where the central theme of the Liberals or any of the Opposition parties is the supremacy of Parliament.

Having an election based on that concept is not the slam dunk that many Liberals believe it would be. The result could be a serious setback for the central concept of Responsible Government.

Elections decide questions. If the next election asks Canadians to choose between Parliamentary Supremacy and something else that the Conservatives present as a rebuttal and the Conservatives win then a basic concept of Responsible Government would be seriously weakened, perhaps permanently.

We need to be careful not to let short-term political opportunity cause great harm to the future health of our institutions. Yes, the fact Mr. Harper is defying Parliament is outrageous but he is just one man and his defiance will not cause permanent harm to the institution.

That will only happen if the Opposition decides to use that defiance as a political gambit and fails.

Unless the Liberals have something else with which to combat the Conservatives so that they can use Mr. Harper's defiance as just another example of Mr. Harper's style of government ande his unsuitability to occupy the office he is currently occupying they should be very careful on this issue.

Mr. Harper does not care about our institutions. He has proven that over and over again. It is up to those of us who do to safeguard them. If that means letting a political opportunity go by then sobeit.

2 Comments:

Blogger Scott Tribe said...

"You safeguard them by ignoring Harper's contempt of Parliament" seems to be your suggestion.

I reject that unequivocally. The opposition parties (and I stress the opposition parties, not just the Liberals, as you are doing) are trying to safeguard Parliament by standing up for the supremacy of Parliament, as well as the more specific reason of making this government accountable for what has and is going on with Afghan detainees and the policy surrounding it. Professor Amir Attaran has alleged that documents he has seen shows Canada was not only complicit in transferring prisoners over to the Afghans, but we WANTED certain detainees tortured to get more intelligence out of them... and you'd rather we do nothing!?!?

This has nothing to do with opportunity - this is to stop the trampling of an institution, as well as to see whether this government is hiding secrets that may implicate it in war crimes.

March 20, 2010 8:46 PM  
Blogger ottlib said...

Professor Attaran made some pretty serious allegation but he failed to produce the documents so those allegations are meaningless at this point.

If we go to an election over this we will not see the documents. They will not be released during the campaign.

If the Conservatives win that election we will NEVER see those documents.

In addition we could seriously damage the whole institution you state Mr. Harper is trampling.

I want to know the truth as much as the next guy and eventually it will come out but I do not want to risk doing serious damage to the central concept of our democracy to facilitate it.

March 21, 2010 11:46 AM  

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