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Much as I had heard, the Liberals and Bloc appear to be ready to cave on some points, the negotiations were nevertheless able to wring some concessions out of the government and may get more, but the NDP is holding out (we don't know what on, exactly).
Here's the latest on it from the Globe and Mail story tonight.
The Harper government and opposition parties failed to strike a deal Monday on granting select MPs access to secret documents on Canada's handling of detainees.
However, the NDP is signalling it doesn't expect to be part of any deal reached Tuesday, suggesting the Tories will reach an accord with only the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois.
"That's becoming a very real possibility," NDP MP Joe Comartin said in an interview.
The 144-seat Harper minority government only requires one party's support to secure the votes necessary to pass legislation or avoid a defeat. So it can do without the backing of the NDP.
Mr. Comartin told CTV's Power Play that the Conservatives made "two significant concessions" Monday. He said he expects the Tories will move further Tuesday in an effort to secure the agreement of the Liberals and Bloc Québécois.
NDP Leader Jack Layton has threatened to launch a debate in the House on the matter that would take precedence over budget issues, including approving funding for the G8 and G20 summits. But this attempt at procedural wrangling will not succeed without the support of the Liberals and Bloc.
New Democrats reject Conservatives' deal on Afghan documents
Tue 15 Jun 2010
Harper still intent on hiding the truth about torture, says Layton
OTTAWA - New Democrats will not sign the Harper government's latest proposal on access to Afghan detainee documents because it means Canadians will never learn the truth about torture in Afghanistan, says New Democrat Leader Jack Layton.
"The proposal denies the rights of Parliament, allows the government to hijack the process and doesn't live up to spirit or terms of the Speaker's ruling. The other parties were willing to accept compromises that we believe would prevent the truth from coming out. This is very much like the Blue Ribbon panel on EI that the Conservatives talked the Liberals into last June. And what happened there? Absolutely nothing. The Conservatives played the Liberals for dupes all summer long."
In April, House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken ordered the government to negotiate an agreement with the opposition parties that would give them access to the documents. On May 14, the parties reached an agreement in principle. Since then, the government has been dragging its feet in negotiations on the terms of the document releases and insisting on conditions that New Democrats consider unacceptable.
The Conservatives' latest proposal:
In the U.S., the Department of Justice advised President George Bush that he could ignore international law when it came to the torture of detainees. That advice was made public.
"But the agreement the Conservatives are proposing here would make that impossible. We believe Canadians have a right to know who the government is listening to, and the arguments they are making," said Mr. Layton. "The Conservatives want to conceal the truth about the Afghan detainee affair. The NDP will not participate in this dishonest charade. We now believe the only satisfactory path to obtaining the truth is through a full judicial inquiry."
Defence Critic Jack Harris will move the attached motion in the House today.
(the motion is really long; will link to Hansard instead, when it comes out)
ETA: Better still: Macleans.ca posted a copy here.
I can understand why the Liberals would buckle once again - but I'm surprised that the BQ would be such patsies. Would it not be in thre BQ's interest to join the NDP in denouncing the Tory obfuscation and leave the Liberals isolated?
Reality Check: Speaker's ruling vs. Conservative travesty
The Liberals and Bloc have signed on to a deal that will never get at the truth about torture, and undermines the oversight of Parliament. Compare the agreement with the historic ruling of the Speaker:
[quote=Speaker Milliken's ruling]
"The insinuation that members of Parliament cannot be trusted with the very information that they may well require to act on behalf of Canadians runs contrary to the inherent trust that Canadians have placed in their elected officials and which members require to act in their various parliamentary capacities." Peter Milliken, Speaker, Hansard, April 27, 2010
"the ad hoc committee does not make decisions related to the disclosure of information" Memorandum of Understanding, # 5.
"It is perfectly within the existing privileges of the House to order production of the documents in question. Bearing in mind that the fundamental role of Parliament is to hold the government to account, as the servant of the House and the protector of its privileges, I cannot agree with the government's interpretation that ordering these documents transgresses the separation of powers and interferes with the spheres of activity of the executive branch." Peter Milliken, Speaker, Hansard, April 27, 2010
Point IV of the Conservatives' proposed memorandum of understanding would reject this and have all parties agree that legal papers and cabinet documents cannot be reviewed by MPs: "Recognizing that Cabinet confidences and information subject to solicitor-client privilege are classes of information that the Parliament of Canada has long recognized are not necessary or appropriate for the purpose of holding the Government to account."
"However, several members have pointed out that Mr. Iacobucci's appointment establishes a separate, parallel process outside of parliamentary oversight, and without parliamentary involvement" Peter Milliken, Speaker, Hansard, April 27, 2010
The Conservative's proposed memorandum of understanding rejects the notion of Parliament being involved in the vetting of documents "An ad hoc committee of parliamentarians will be established external to the House of Commons"
I truly do not understand why.
... AND ... the toxic spin is already starting from the Liberals, who are saying that the NDP never negotiated in good faith from the start, because they didn't take the requirements of national security seriously.
A close reading of Jack Harris' motion should clear that misconception up right away, but the media don't read anything longer than a tweet these days. It's hopeless.
we just have to get our own spin out there - Liberals cave in again!
Where are all the babblers who condemned the NDP on this issue. Shouldn't they be here condeming the Liberals and BQ. I won't hold my breath though.
I dont appreciate being baited by people who say "where are all the NDP partsans/dupesnow that _______ has happened."
So how about refraining from returning the favour?
Well, I wish some of my good prophecies would come true, instead of just the gloomy ones.
All three opposition parties betrayed here, when they reached their bullshit "tenative agreement" last month - and accepted in principle that Parliament, and Canadians, might never see the documents which Parliament had lawfully demanded be produced. The rest is political posturing.
For the Liberals and BQ, neither of whom ever condemned the holy mission in Afghanistan, nothing can come as a surprise.
For the NDP, they were simply outthought, outpaced, and outmanoeuvred as always - declaring "victory" prematurely, and now scrambling.
I have no reason to revisit what I said one month ago:
[quote=Unionist, on May 14, ]The key thing here must not be forgotten - that Parliament's order to disclose the documents has been defied, and that all the "opposition" parties are now complicit in that. They are terrified of Harper - and rightly so - but not enough to actually stand up to him. ...
Before this agreement was concluded, I warned that Harper was going to win. Once the opposition parties bought into the notion of "national security" being somehow at stake in an unlawful invasion and occupation, and treatment of prisoners which violates international law, the game was over. The detainee issue is finished now - in the same way that the issue of Omar Khadr is finished.
Not that Canadians of all walks of life don't care, and won't continue their activism on these and related issues. The parties in the House have been outmanoeuvred yet again, and they see no way to score political points by carrying on. Now, as in the case of Khadr, nothing need happen on the detainee issue for years to come. If we're lucky, Canada will be chased screaming from Afghanistan long before the farce of this committee is played out. [/quote]
Yes, the Liberals and BQ should be condemned - but the end result is still that the war criminals' crimes stay buried . That's still the problem.
and yet the responses are oh so predictable. No acknowledgement in either post above this one that the NDP did something right. Let's not pretend here.
For the NDP, they were simply outthought, outpaced, and outmanoeuvred as always - declaring "victory" prematurely, and now scrambling. [/quote]
We've been around this on a lot of issues Unionist.
What is "outpaced" "outhought", "outmanouvered" when you are dealing with a multi-variable circus?
There is only so much in the parliamentary field that the NDP can do alone. Its quite a juggling act trying to bully a larger partner that wants to squish you into cooperating to get around Harper.
"Bully" [or 'compell' if you prefer] and "cooperate" in the first place, inherently don't mix well.
Let alone when the partner in question historically positions itself by posturing in the safest place possible. Which gets even worse when its confused [by its own very low standards] and weakened.
[quote=Life, the universe, everything]
and yet the responses are oh so predictable. No acknowledgement in either post above this one that the NDP did something right. Let's not pretend here. [/quote]
Who needs to acknowledge what the NDP did right? There's still what it could have achieved if it was closer to the sun.
[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/milliken-does-right-thing#... April 30:[/url]
I think I mentioned that Harper will win this little skirmish. Just watch him.[/quote]
Note something very central to what we can expect to see unfold: the parties are working on a compromise.
Compromise means no one gets everything they want.
But I'll go out on a limb- but a big fat one I'm very confident will hold me- that whatever the eventual agreement, Unionist will declare Harper the winner. Just watch him.[/quote]
I declare Harper the winner. Hands down. Thus, Ken's prediction was correct. Even though, on [url=http://www.ndp.ca/press/agreement-on-detainee-documents-brings-us-closer... 14[/url], someone prematurely declared: "This is a victory for parliamentary democracy."
I do wonder, however, whom Ken considers to have won this skirmish - and what compromise the Conservatives made - and what they wanted which they won't be getting.
Mugs game set up by you Unioist.
You didnt just say that Harper would win- an easy prediction to make even for a minority government- you said the NDP was outfoxed, othought.
Get thinking man, even in the most general terms, and with all the benefit of hindsight, if the NDP needs the cooperation of the Liberals to actually do something, and to deny Harper a win by default... whats the big plan?
You didnt just say that Harper would win- an easy prediction to make even for a minority government- you said the NDP was outfoxed, othought.[/quote]
Then, Ken, if it was that simple, why didn't you say: "you're right, Unionist, Harper will win, so we need to try something different?" Instead you said... well I just quoted it above, didn't I? You and many others cherished an illusion which had zero prospect of success. All we're left with is a talking point.
[quote]Get thinking man, even in the most general terms, and with all the benefit of hindsight, if the NDP needs the cooperation of the Liberals to actually do something, and to deny Harper a win by default... whats the big plan?
I just would like the NDP to be a little smarter. Why did I ridicule their "victory" statement last month... because I'm such a political maven? Shit, I thought it was friggin' obvious that once all three parties had agreed in principle to the mere possibility that every single document might remain secret except for a handful of MPs, the game was over. So now it's confirmed.
And what about my other prediction, Ken? That like Omar Khadr - where a majority of Parliament jumps and leaps and rises to say nice things - the detainee issue is finished, for good. After the whole drama of the anti-prorogation movement. After triggering a movement and then dashing it to the ground. That's what I predicted, and I stand by it. Want to sign up for that mugs' game?
Why do I say this? Because in the final analysis, all three of these cowardly parties will follow Stockholm's mantra - that no one really cares about these faraway events. No one votes based on how jihadists are treated in prison cells. And even parliamentary supremacy is a vacuous theoretical notion, when Harper does exactly what he wants - when he wants - on every single issue imaginable, without constraint - and if one party makes a mistake and votes against him, the other jumps to the rescue.
That's what he won and why he won. There was no profound political analysis required.
What kind of long term ramifications will this deal have?
Will future governments be able to use this as a precedent to keep info from Parliament?
The NDP election campaign should stress restoring democracy and the independence of the House of Commons.
The Conservatives remind me of the Philadelphia Flyers during their Broad Street Bully days. Their coach Fred Shero was much like Harper. He would try to get away with as much as he could. He would bend the rules and manipulate refs as much as he could just to win. He would win at any cost, even if it was very ugly. The NHL had to change their rules and close loopholes that Shero used to change the game to resemble roller derby. Shero and the Flyers won two Stanley Cups before the Montreal Canadiens restored order to the hockey world. Hopefully, Harper will be limited to two governments and the NDP will be the Montreal Canadiens of politics.
Fire the Managers
Governing as business
The source of the problem goes back to the 1990s, the first decade of enhanced corporate rights (so-called free trade) where the mantra was "We have to run government like a business." People should be careful what they ask for because the decline of democratic governance and the dilution of the ideals of leadership flow directly from that corporate imperative. Until we recognize it and reverse it we are unlikely to find our way out of the dilemma.
Stephen Harper does run the country like a business -- with a ruthless disregard for any interests other than the fiduciary interests of those who want to see humanist, activist government dismantled. No other prime minister in Canadian history has shown such casual contempt for democracy, its ideals and its institutions.
UBC psychology professor Robert Hare has written about what he describes as the sub-criminal psychopath. When such people rise to the top, they serve the needs of a profit-driven organization ruthlessly well. Is it a stretch to say that, in that mode, Stephen Harper has become the quintessential, post-industrial corporate manager?
That's what passes today for leadership.
If the objective was to publicly release all the documents, that was never on the table, and Unionist was going to be disappointed from the get-go.
If the objective was to protect parliamentary supremacy and the right to order the production of papers, which is what the NDP Caucus was talking about, then what the Liberals and Bloc have signed on to gives that away, and must be fought.
I might have profound disagreements with what the government keeps secret and why, but I do accept that at least some information is justified to be classified as Secret (meaning you need that clearance to see it, and can't share it with those who don't have that clearance). Unionist seems not to accept this point, which is his right, but it's an extreme position.
The position the government was taking was that MPs had no right to see secret or top secret documents because they might leak them, and that only the government could determine what should be seen or not. The Speaker already found this position violated the principle of the supremacy of Parliament, when he made his ruling.
The Liberals accepted an agreement that said a panel of jurists selected by all the parties would determine what the MPs on the Committee could see or not. Their big concession that they got from the government (whoop-de-doo) was that they could pick their own judges to sit with Frank Iacobucci. The MPs will still not see any documents that this panel decides they can't.
Also, the process can be endlessly hijacked by any MP asking for any document to be referred to that panel. Next week I predict Pierre Poilievre will be given a secret security clearance, named to that committee, and start referring each and every document to the panel of jurists.
Even some (normally very partisan) Liberal bloggers believe this is a complete sell out of the principle of parliamentary supremacy.
If the Liberals and Bloc had held firm to the principle that MPs will decide what they can see, and can be trusted not to reveal material that should not be released publicly, they would have been backed up by the Speaker.
As it stands, the Speaker may yet back up Harris' point of privilege. We'll know after Question Period, I think.
Now, what if the MPs had seen documentation in the secret documents that raised questions they believed ought to be raised publicly. That's all moot now, but two options I can think of are: (i) anything they say in the Commons is protected (their ancient right), and (ii) they could petition the courts to change the designation of the information in that document.
If the objective was to publicly release all the documents, that was never on the table, and Unionist was going to be disappointed from the get-go.[/quote]
No one ever said "public release of all documents".
[quote]If the objective was to protect parliamentary supremacy and the right to order the production of papers, which is what the NDP Caucus was talking about, then what the Liberals and Bloc have signed on to gives that away, and must be fought.[/quote]
I agree it must be fought - but the NDP gave that away in the "tentative agreement" as well - as you know. It left the decision of what Parliament can see in the hands of unelected outsiders, with [b]no right of appeal[/b]. Milliken never mandated that. That was capitulation #1.
[quote]I might have profound disagreements with what the government keeps secret and why, but I do accept that at least some information is justified to be classified as Secret (meaning you need that clearance to see it, and can't share it with those who don't have that clearance). Unionist seems not to accept this point, which is his right, but it's an extreme position.[/quote]
No, OO, my position is that in this country, Parliament is supposed to be supreme. [b]Parliament[/b] decides what is "Secret" - not you. Once the NDP (and Liberals and BQ) ceded that fundamental principle, there was little left of Parliamentary supremacy to uphold. Milliken never mandated that. That was capitulation #2.
If the Liberals and Bloc had held firm to the principle that MPs will decide what they can see, and can be trusted not to reveal material that should not be released publicly, they would have been backed up by the Speaker.[/quote]
All it takes is one party. Had the NDP stood firm before May 14, it might be more credible in its stand now. I hope and pray that even at this point, the NDP will indeed hold its ground. Milliken never said that a dirty deal between some (not all) of the parties would suffice to set aside his power to enforce the question of privilege.
That's not my understanding of what transpired, or what was agreed to.
That is a misunderstanding of the constitutional division of powers. The Governor-in-Council (i.e., cabinet, the executive branch) decides what it secret or top secret. That Parliament is supreme means that it can order the production of those papers regardless of their classification, the Speaker ruled.
It's also my understanding that any MP can raise a point of privilege. I suspect there may have been some behind-the-scenes sounding out of the Speaker as to how he might rule, or at least what he might consider.
I do hope they stick to their guns, and I'm sorry they have to do it alone, frankly.
I hate to interject with facts that might get in the way of a rigteous hanging of the NDP but Unionist you are completely wrong about what the tentative agreement contained. It contained a provision that after MPs on the committee reviewed a document it could then be refered to the extra-judical group for release if there was disagreement. MPs still saw the document. It was that referral that could not be appealed, not whether MPs reveiwed the document or not. That referal could have been made by oppositions members who wanted it released, or the government who did not. The appeal was final, but again MPs saw the documents and may have found other ways to get information out.
Now it appears that this extra-judical group will review the documents first and then decide whether MPs can see it. That is a significant difference.
I hate to interject with facts that might get in the way of a rigteous hanging of the NDP but Unionist you are completely wrong about what the tentative agreement contained. It contained a provision that after MPs on the committee reviewed a document it could then be refered to the extra-judical group for release if there was disagreement. MPs still saw the document. [/quote]
Yes. Four (4) MPs. Sworn to secrecy. And without their agreement, or the panel of experts' unappealable ruling, no document could be shown even to the House Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan - let alone Parliament as a whole. So Parliament had no assurance of seeing any document at all. It was up to two groups, both operating behind closed doors, sworn to secrecy, and both with the power to make "final and unreviewable" decisions.
[quote] The appeal was final, but again MPs saw the documents and may have found other ways to get information out.[/quote]
What - one or both committees rules that the documents are too secret to be seen even by the Special Committee, and the sole NDP MP on the committee (or her alternate) "leaks" it to the media? Are you serious?
As for OO's comments, I stand by what I said. There is no such thing in Canada as a "constitutional division of powers", except between the federal government and the provinces. The Governor General has certain powers, but they do [b]not[/b] extend to keeping documents secret in defiance of Parliament - and that's surely what we're talking about here.
It seems some have forgotten the elements (admittedly vague, because never committed to writing) of the "tentative agreement" - there are many decent accounts around, one of them being [url=http://www.thecourt.ca/2010/05/14/detainee-docs-agreement/]here[/url], including associated links.
Update: the Prime Minister just avoided answering Layton's questions on this issue, by calling for Libby's resignation for apparently saying that Israel was an occupying force in 1948 instead of 1967.
So, OO, what will we say when Layton complies? Might as well put our thinking caps on. I've got my answer ready. I do believe I've given it already.
He defended her in the House, for your information, and she was sitting right behind him in the camera shot clapping.
So OO, do you think she'll resign as Deputy Leader? You're more in touch with the inside track than I am.
No, I don't.
[quote=ottawaobserver]Update: the Prime Minister just avoided answering Layton's questions on this issue, by calling for Libby's resignation for apparently saying that Israel was an occupying force in 1948 instead of 1967.[/quote]
Our corrupt stooges tend to avoid answering very many questions from the NDP.
I don't know what possesed me to do it, but I just finished reading the comments on the CTV website about this story. I feel unclean, the racist, classist and outright bizzarness they represent scares me for Canada. Thankfully I know it is probably really about 10 people sitting in various party offices, but man is it scary.
The editors whose job it is to moderate those just hate that job. I can understand why some news organizations are now poll-testing a policy change of eliminating comments ... and want people to sign their names to them like letters to the editors.
Oh, by the way, the only two stories being covered out of Ottawa on the half-hour newscasts on CTV Newsnet now are (i) MP expenses, and (ii) the Libby video.
What a fucking propaganda machine the mainstream media is.
Yep never mind that little thing about the Liberals caving on the detainee document issue. Why would anyone care when they can attack a good person who made a small slip up. The characterization of the rest of her comments are just complete lies, yet they get away with it. There are days when I wonder whether we are mature enough as a people to deserve democracy.
Canadian politics is in the sewer a long time running. It's disgusting. Dashing off to take a shower now - I feel really grimy for some reason.
Yeah, perhaps if Jack hadn't forced Libby to apologize, phoned the Israeli ambassador, and agreed to be interviewed on the Libby Davies Crisis of the Century and repeated over and over that it was ok because she had apologized... he could have focused a bit more on the supremacy of Parliament.
[quote=Life, the universe, everything]Yep never mind that little thing about the Liberals caving on the detainee document issue. [/quote]
Exactly, and we need to focus on who really has done this, and ignore the politics players who want to divert the blame. The Bloc and the Liberal Party of Canada is who is blame, full stop. Hence rae's behaviour, deflect and dodge.
[quote] There are days when I wonder whether we are mature enough as a people to deserve democracy.[/quote]
Those who want world domination spend a great deal of time, and energy operantly conditioning the masses. I do not blame the victims.
But Israel WAS an occupying force in 1948. What the hell do you think the 'Nakba' means?
"In March of 1948, Zionist forces launched a systematic plan to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its indigenous population. Heavily armed Zionist militias seized control of numerous multi-ethnic cities such as Jaffa, Haifa Selat and Tiberius and ruthlessly drove out the native Palestinian inhabitants. Massacres took place in Deir Yasin, where 100 men, women and children were killed, Tantura where 200 men were murdered and in 368 other Palestinian villages and cities. BY THE WINTER OF 1948 90% OF THE NATIVE POPULATION -SOME 750,000 PALESTINIANS HAD BEEN TURNED INTO REFUGEES" [there's lots of pictures of dead people and detailed descriptions of how they were killed if Mr. Layton plans on telling the truth instead of the outrage we all know is coming...]
The NDP must not in any way betray the NAKBA with some kind of awful denial of historical truth.
[url=http://www.theprovince.com/news/Afghan+detainee+deal+good+enough/3160155... detainee deal not good enough:[color=orange]NDP[/color][/size][/url]
[quote]"The proposal denies the rights of Parliament, allows the government to hijack the process and doesn't live up to spirit or terms of the Speaker's ruling," NDP Leader Jack Layton said.
"The other parties were willing to accept compromises that we believe would prevent the truth from coming out."
An agreement in principle was reached three weeks ago after the Commons Speaker ruled that Parliament has a right to know.
But Harris said the devil is in the details and MPs won't be given enough access and no right to report to the public.[/quote]
Liberals come to the rescue of Reform Party retreads. Again! It's the democracy gap.
U, you are making demands of the NDP that cannot be met in this climate of one-sided control of the MSM. Yeah, Harper "won" in the battle for mainstream loyalty.
If Jack Layton demanded the sort of control over caucus' comments out there in public that we see practised by Steve, you would be all over him for thought control and censorship.
Now you attack a political party for its concern about image, even though there must be parameters to "free speech" when all around you are enemies, waiting to pounce at the slightest slip.
Libby blew it, and her party is now paying the price, much to her everlasting embarassment. And, of course, she will have to fight that, and not the issue of pverty, in her next election.
Why in hell do you continue to attack the party in this fashion. How are you going to "vote against" Mulcair in the next election? Why not just turn out - with lots of uniion NDP members - at the party's nomination meeting (get out there and round up a membership starting today) and make sure the bastard is not the party's nominee. You might have some opposition from central office, but shoot the works.
In fact (what the hell) why don't you stand for the nomination - you have immaculate credentials - and show us how it should be done? Better that than simply playing a huge, nitpicking part in demoralizing the NDP community in this little outpost of moral outrage. Get out there in front of the average masses and see how they respond to a purely moral position. I'm betting, however, that it won't be any more morally forthright than the anti-waffle struggle by union members nearly 40 years back on the issue of nationalism.
If Jack Layton demanded the sort of control over caucus' comments out there in public that we see practised by Steve, you would be all over him for thought control and censorship.[/quote]
No, George, if Layton exercised party discipline in favour of its [b]progressive[/b] positions - for instance, if it had dumped Peter Stoffer's sorry ass for publicly defying the policy on Afghanistan - I would praise it. It's when Layton panders to the right in violation of the party's - and even his own - principles that I am "all over him". Example: the long gun registry - and many more. I am not opposed to discipline.
[quote]Libby blew it, and her party is now paying the price, much to her everlasting embarassment. And, of course, she will have to fight that, and not the issue of pverty, in her next election.[/quote]
With that comment, George, I hereby return you to my "ignore" list. Libby has a lot more eloquent enemies than you, so I don't need to listen to second-best. Send me a PM when you have something to say that helps to advance the cause of the Canadian people. Peace be with you.
Kady O'Malley has been keeping up with the news on the Detainee Documents agreement (back to the main purpose of the thread), and bless her is not falling in line with the press gallery pile-on of yesterday, mainly because she's too interested in the details.
"Orders of the Day: ContemptWatch [et al.]"
So, apparently, no-one's actually seen the agreement yet, save the 3 parties to it. And this includes the Speaker. Harris has asked the Speaker about launching a question of privilege (or privilege motion, I'm not clear on that point right now), but I guess the upshot is that we'll learn more after Question Period.
Horsefeathers eh Goodale - what a pompous ass he is.
Detainee documents deal is a mess, expert says
Excellent, thanks NorthReport.
I hope we are all in gear to support the NDP decision to boycott this travesty - and there's still hope the Speaker will do the right thing.
On the other hand, I can't help but notice that of the 6 criticisms raised by the expert (Prof. Attaran), at least two of them (#4 and #5) and arguably #3 and #6, apply with equal force to the original tentative agreement that all four parties agreed to in May. That's when the stuffing got knocked out of the Speaker's historic ruling, and Harper's win over parliamentary supremacy was ensured.
At least one NDP blogger agrees with you on that one Unionist:
Anyways, I'll be watching after QP.
Thanks for that, OO! And here I had reconciled myself with being a voice in the wilderness. It's so much more comforting to be in a minority of two.
Now there appears to be a dispute over what the final agreement says, even though it hasn't even been released yet. Nothing like duelling news releases and selective leaks, says Macleans.ca's Aaron Wherry.
Unionist is running? Where do we sign up? Could be another Stuart Parker moment in the making.
More from the Jurist on the agreement:
OK, I think Jay Hill tabled the agreement, but things were a bit busy here. Then they went on to the rest of routine proceedings, and I get the sense they're coming back to the privilege/Speaker's ruling part.
Nope, they went on to Government Orders. Well, I'll keep my eye out on Twitter and Newsworld to see what's going on.