A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Saturday, October 8, 2011

More Parliamentary Contempt

Dale Smith clearly outlines the Conservatives contempt for parliamentary process – here is his recent post in full.
The government introduced its fall budget implementation bill today – while the entire Finance Committee is currently on tour doing pre-budget consultations around the country. What’s more galling – is that they’ve put said bill up for debate tomorrow. You know, while the finance critics are out doing those pre-budget consultations, and giving their staff some 24 hours to digest 650 pages so that they can create briefs for the other MPs who will have to debate it. Oh, and the briefing with department officials? Won’t happen until the 18th, which is once the finance committee members are back after the break week next week.
Added to this, the government unveiled the Ways and Means Motion as part of the supply cycle yesterday – and gave the MPs six whole hours to read over all 250 pages said motion before they had to vote on it. While the finance committee including the critics are not in the House.
In other words, the government has decided to thumb its nose at the fundamental basis of parliamentary democracy in this country. Sure, they have a majority and these bills are going to pass – but that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be robust and informed debate. That’s the whole point of Parliament. If the government is going to release budget bills and supply motions – you know, the kinds of confidence measures that governments live and die by – and stymie the ability of the opposition to actually examine these bills and motions and give them robust and informed debate, then why bother having a House of Commons at all?
Yes, these motions will pass, but debate is important. Informed, robust debate is important. The Ways and Means motion passed without MPs knowing what they were actually voting on. This budget implementation bill isn’t going to see informed debate, but we’ll get the Conservative MPs reading prepared statements about how the opposition needs to support the Economic Action Plan™, the NDP saying that the government needs to create jobs and fix pensions, and the Liberals tutting at both sides about being “too ideological.” And the debate will not be robust, informed, or worth the time of our august institutions.
The Conservatives are treating our parliamentary democracy with contempt. And I fear that Canadians simply don’t care.

Dale continues to bring more of this contempt to our attention in this post. including the Parliamentary Budget Officer thoughts on the just released costing for the 'tough on crime bill' which he calls “total obfuscation.”

We can expect MUCH more of this from the dictatorial Harper Regime in the coming months and years and all we can do is watch and remember for the next election - where much of the pubic support for alternative partys is about to be removed in a self serving move by said regime!
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