Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Speaker Holds Parliament Supreme
The Speaker rules, parliament is held as the keeper of its own house. There be some skids in the collected Conservative Party trousers about now m'thinks.
Posted by Lindsay Stewart at 4:05 PM
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CC must be rubbing off on me. After the ruling I checked out the liblogs and progblogs feeds, they lit up like a christmas tree.
They're already whining on the G&M site that Miliken's ruling is all that one can expect from a Liberal. i imagine it will all be Trudeau's fault within the hour.
And the first initial emotion is, for me at least, relief. Then a frisson of disbelief that someone actually, *actually* dug a line in the legal sand, instead of handing over MORE.
It's not a trick is it? With wriggle room? It's an actual "not no, but hell, no"?
This is exactly the result I expected to see, as I said in an earlier thread here at this site there really was no other way for the Speaker to rule given the precedents of our Parliamentary history. I am personally very impressed with how well he dealt with the arguments raised by the government, and this two week period he is imposing as a last attempt to prevent destroying our 142 year history of being able to act like responsible adults and representative Parliamentarians acting in good faith is an excellent move IMHO. It puts the Harper government in the position of either complying or by making it impossible to argue they are acting in anything other than bad faith, because Milliken made clear that his ruling is that the breach exists, that he is suspending enforcing it for the two weeks to give this government one last chance to do the right thing in the public knowledge that they have no other legal choice in the matter. If after that this government still refuses to comply, well then no one can say the government did not deserve everything that follows from a formal finding of contempt of Parliament against it.
This was a quintessentially Canadian ruling by this Speaker, and done as bulletproof as possible in content (I listened live to the whole thing myself) and gives the government one last chance to act responsibly before being given a sanction I am not sure has ever been laid against any prior government in our history. This is also a ruling that sets down even more firmly the concept that Parliament is the ultimate source of political power in our system, not government, that government derives it's authority from Parliament, and that is so incredibly important I have not the ability to be emphatic enough about it. I suspect I will be going into this more in depth at Saundrie within a day or so because to my mind this was the most important Speaker's ruling I have ever witnessed in my lifetime.
Catelli: It takes longer to figure out how to spin it to make it look like you won than it does to gloat about winning. :)
I agree with everything you said, Scotian -- with the addition that it was great that he also chose to smack down the Iaccobucci sideshow as well. Excellent.
to my mind this was the most important Speaker's ruling I have ever witnessed in my lifetime.
Milliken just thwarted a coup. Not a legitimate coalition branded a coup. The real thing. A palace coup was thwarted today.
Yes, that was a lovely sight wasn't it. I loved how he really went after the point that he would have the government as his client showing that this was yet another way to claim that the government was supreme and not Parliament and then stomped it down into the dust where it deserved to be. Watching the Speaker eviscerate the various defences the Harper government tried to prevent the release of these documents to MPs was such a joy, the Iaccobucci one just being one of several.
Agreed. What Harper was trying to pull here (as he has in many other areas of his government's actions too) is no less than a coup against how our Parliamentary system of government is designed to work. This was always why I railed so hard against him being given power, it was not ideology that was my biggest worry (not that this wasn't a serious concern too) but his contempt for the process issues on the fundamentals on how we govern ourselves. I always feared his contempt for our system of governance and his (at least to my eyes) blatant contempt for the rule of law as defined by our legal history as a nation, and his actions as a government showed that my worst fears were not misplace nor exaggerated. What Milliken did here today goes a long way to restoring at least the core basis of how our system of government works against the corrosion that the Harper regime has tried to commit.
Harper's true danger to Canada is not his ideology, it is his contempt for the rule of law as defined by CANADIAN precedents as opposed to those of the far right wing movements of foreign nations he clearly prefers, especially those of the American far right.
My fear is that the Cons will throw a wrench in the works and still come out on top. They usually do.
Jymn, I waiting I'm waiting for him to prorogue again.
As or the Blogging Tories, I'm shocked too. I thought they would have all been pounding away at and weeping over their typewriters by now, all warning us of doomsday scenarios now that Pandora's box will unleash danger to us all.
I think it is his inability to understand that law outweighs his arrogant sense of entitlement. He verges on narcicism(spelling I know) - we all know that - but it actually is a(his) delusion that he is more entitled, and what he wants is more important than any silly law or parliamentary precedure.
It has been apparent to many of us forever but finally the smackdown instills reality into a far to farcical fantasy that many will fumulgate over.
CK - I think the BT folks are in shock. They didn't get their way. Not used to it, you know. (Except when CC gets on their case - then its high comedy because they truly don't get it.)
I suspect orders came from above to tell Blogging ReformaTories to STFU.
Otherwise, it would have been all nonstop shrieeeking about ADSCAM, over and over and over ...
Spoke too soon; they're all in hysterics now! They're a bawlin' over their typewriters all right!
Sandra Dee Crux is in a state of denial
The rest of them are all scared of the 'dangers to national security and our troops'.
One of the commenters over at MacNair's goes so far as to suggest that showing these documents to Duceppe would definitely endanger the lives of our troops... and they, for the life of them, still can't figure out why the Bloc still sit in the House of Commons.
I think I shocked some of them that we Quebecers also pay federal taxes and that they exist democratically; that we, in Quebec, chose to send them to Ottawa...
Oh, reality is not a pretty thing when people seem content to live in their conservative bubbles.
Sandy Crux is livid about this decision. She's going around looking for people who are suggesting this doesn't look very good for Big Daddy and denouncing them...in that passive-aggressive manner Conservatives have perfected, naturally.
She currently has Joan Briden of the Canadian Press in her sights:
"Hasta la vista, bitch," Sandy muttered darkly to herself as she clicked WordPress's POST button.
"Sandy Crux is livid about this decision."
Apparently the opposition are going to release all kinds of state secrets to endanger Canada, and release the names of Taliban informers to the Taliban so they can all be murdered.
Hi again Gayle,
Yes, that was Gayle's and my lesson for this evening by the commenters over at MacNair's.
Apparently, Gayle and I flunked paranoia.
Oh I don't think you have to go as obscure as MacNair to find someone freaking that the Bloc will see the docs; Coyne said it on CBC's At Issue panel a few weeks ago.
A satisfying decision because it was made by an officer if Parliament in Parliament itself.
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