Government Breached Parliamentary Privilege: Speaker


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FiveParadox
Liberal
#1
Today, in a landmark ruling, The Honourable Peter Milliken M.P. ( Kingston and the Islands ), the Speaker of the House of Commons , ruled that Her Majestyís Government for Canada has breached the privileges of members of the House of Commons by refusing to comply with a House order to hand over unredacted documents pertaining to the transfer of Afghan detainees. The Speaker, in his ruling, gave the Government two weeks to comply with the Commons motion to release the documents to the House.

This ruling upholds the principles of parliamentary supremacy and responsible government. It is being speculated that the Government may choose to bring the issue to a confidence vote in the House of Commons, to force the Commons to either (a) give up its power, by precedent, over the Prime Ministerís Office when it comes to the production of papers; or (b) have an election.
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#2
Such maneuvering can only spell a cover up. Guilty as charged!

Nice move though. Whoever doesn't support Harpy will be blamed for the election and the prick might get a majority. Good chess move.
 
El Barto
#3
When a party has national secrets to keep ....somethings wrong. Period.
So much for tranperance it so got elected for.
 
CDNBear
#4
I'd like to see some more info Paradox.
 
pegger
No Party Affiliation
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

Such maneuvering can only spell a cover up. Guilty as charged!

Nice move though. Whoever doesn't support Harpy will be blamed for the election and the prick might get a majority. Good chess move.

Except that it is now on Harper's shoulders to find a compromise - not the opposition's. In two weeks tho - nothing will change (I fear). I don't think we will go to an election on this.
 
TenPenny
#6
If this comes to a confidence motion, then I'm all for an election. Parliament must reign supreme over one elected MP (the Prime Minister).
 
Praxius
Free Thinker
#7
Let's not forget that the Government and Parliament is supposed to be working for us, not the other way around.... when they screw up, when wrong has been done, we the people should know what the heck is going on.... not be babied and protected from the truth because we're somehow incompetent or unable to handle the truth.

The Government should be the last to be hiding information from us, they're the ones who should be getting information for us. An educated populace, an informed populace, is a strong one.... but I suppose some might have problems with that.
 
Liberalman
Free Thinker
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

I'd like to see some more info Paradox.

CDNBear
The entire speech from the Speaker of the House on the ruling of the Afghan detainee

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=3&D ocId=4470112#SOB-3122448
 
CDNBear
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Liberalman View Post

CDNBear
The entire speech from the Speaker of the House on the ruling of the Afghan detainee

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=3&D ocId=4470112#SOB-3122448

Ya, I've already read it Libby. I wanted to see what Paradox had in his pocket.

Some people already commenting in this thread, including the author of the OP, should rethink their current frame of mind and give the thruth of the matter a look over.

As usual, there's spin put on the reality of it all.
 
pegger
No Party Affiliation
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

Ya, I've already read it Libby. I wanted to see what Paradox had in his pocket.

Some people already commenting in this thread, including the author of the OP, should rethink their current frame of mind and give the thruth of the matter a look over.

As usual, there's spin put on the reality of it all.

Bah - it's so much easier to spew partisan nonsense tho.
 
CDNBear
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by pegger View Post

Bah - it's so much easier to spew partisan nonsense tho.

Yes, yes it is, but your comment is timely and ironic. Especially since Milliken chastised all the parties for their partisan BS.

I'm not surprised Milliken's call for less partisan nonsense from the opposition as well, was over looked. As well as a few other glaring issues, not mentioned in the OP and certainly not mentioned in the press.

But hey, nothing sells ideology like a little sensational bias.
 
pegger
No Party Affiliation
#12
True - I actually thought Milliken's response was measured and very non-partisan - he found for the government in some cases, and against in others - and at the end he called them all (both sides) on their childish antics, and basically told them to grow up and work together.

I find it pathetic that our parliament has gotten to this situation - and I bet you can guess who I hold primarily responsable for that, but at the end of the day the ruling was the right one.

My concern now is that in 2 weeks - what will play out - which side will step up and be more "grown up" and which go after cheap political shots (which all parties seem more apt to go towards).
Last edited by pegger; Apr 28th, 2010 at 07:45 AM..Reason: can't spell without coffee in system....
 
Liberalman
Free Thinker
#13
an election will be called by that time
 
pegger
No Party Affiliation
#14
You really think in 2 weeks we'll have a call? Are there any confidence motions or opposition days between now and then?

I would seem to think that if the Liberals think that the Conservatives will not cooperate it wuold be in their interest to let it go two weeks - and find the Conservatives in contempt of parliament - then call an election....
 
CDNBear
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by pegger View Post

True - I actually thought Milliken's response was measured and very non-partisan - he found for the government in some cases, and against in others - and at the end he called them all (both sides) on their childish antics, and basically told them to grow up and work together.

I'm going to disagree here. Though he tried very hard to appear to be fair. There are portions of his findings I find troubling.

Here are two quotes of the comments in question...

Quote:

As to the procedural validity of the order, as well as its form, the Chair wishes to draw the attention of the House to Bourinot's Parliamentary Procedure and Practice in the Dominion of Canada, fourth edition, which states at pages 245 and 246:



Previous to the session of 1876, it was customary to move for all papers by address to the Governor General, but since that time the regular practice of the English houses has been followed. It is now the usage to move for addresses only with respect to matters affecting imperial interests, the royal prerogative or the Governor in Council. On the other hand, it is the constitutional right of either House to ask for such information as it can directly obtain by its own order from any department or officer of the government...papers may be directly ordered when they relate to canals and railways, post office, customs, militia, fisheries, dismissal of public officers, harbours and public works and other matters under the immediate control and direction of the different departments of the government.




As this passage makes clear, an order is issued when seeking papers that fall under the “immediate control and direction of the different departments of the government”. As an example, in the case of the documents related to the Chief of the Defence Staff referred to by the parliamentary secretary, it is simply not credible to claim that these documents are not under the control of the government.

Quote:

The hon. member for Kootenay--Columbia argued that even if the documents were provided to the committee, the committee could not, given their sensitive nature, make use of them publicly. However, I cannot agree with his conclusion that this obviates the government's requirement to provide the documents ordered by the House. To accept such a notion would completely undermine the importance of the role of parliamentarians in holding the government to account.

What's being negated here, and I may be wrong, is the fact that not all the documentation, is related to specific acts by Federal bodies controlled by the gov't. Some of these documents, by shear deductive reasoning, will undoubtedly pertain to persons and objectives under control or duty to other national organizations and services.

It possibly makes those documents sensitive in nature and therefore subject to the Security of Information Act. I realize how convenient that is. But the gov't has already provided volumes of documents, and has forwarded the rest to retired Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci, for review. Which I view as a sincere attempt to gather a ruling on whether or not the documents in question can be released without threatening national security, or breaching the rights of groups/organizations, not falling under the control of the Gov't of Canada.

In this quote he makes a finding, on the claims, without knowing what's in the documentation...

Quote:

The parliamentary secretary has referred to certain rulings of my predecessors in making his arguments and has also provided additional material in support of his contention. The Chair has examined these precedents—a ruling from 1959 by Mr. Speaker Michener and a ruling from 1982 by Madam Speaker Sauvť—but is not convinced that they directly support the particular circumstances faced by the House in this case.

This only furthers my suspicion that he is not acting in a clearly non partisan manner. He would have to be privy to the content of the documents to make that assertion.

Quote:

I find it pathetic that our parliament has gotten to this situation - and I bet you can guess who I hold primarily responsable for that, but at the end of the day the ruling was the right one.

I too find it pathetic. And Iflatly blame all the parties involved. The Gov't should have been more forth coming in it's transparency and made known its intent from the get go. The oppositions is merely using an antiquated law to force the gov't to run with a glass of water, in hopes something will spill so they have something to point at.

Quote:

My concern now is that in 2 weeks - what will play out - which side will step up and be more "grown up" and which go after cheap political shots (which all parties seem more apt to go towards).

If I'm right, this may actually lead to the Supreme Court and rightly so. Since most of the allegations levied at the gov't by the Liberal opposition, like intimidation and witness tampering, were shot down by Milliken. It's safe to bet that the gov't really isn't hiding anything that shouldn't be. They are, IMHO, simply trying to protect interests of national security and the security of parties our gov't agencies and Forces work in concert with.
Last edited by CDNBear; Apr 28th, 2010 at 08:18 AM..
 
CDNBear
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by pegger View Post

You really think in 2 weeks we'll have a call? Are there any confidence motions or opposition days between now and then?

I would seem to think that if the Liberals think that the Conservatives will not cooperate it wuold be in their interest to let it go two weeks - and find the Conservatives in contempt of parliament - then call an election....

Or we'll see a motion put before the Supreme Court.
 
Colpy
Conservative
#17
Personally, I think Harper has little choice but to cough up the documents......and that is how it should be.

Disgraceful that the Liberals et al have pushed this so hard.........
 
CDNBear
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy View Post

Personally, I think Harper has little choice but to cough up the documents......and that is how it should be.

Colpy, I think you should look at the whole of the matter.

Milliken has ignored common practice in the House, including his own. He has made unjust rulings, as if he is privy to the content of the documents in question. And outright dismisses the Gov'ts request to retired Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci.

I fully believe he has exposed his bias, though he faintly tried to cover it up with his blanketed condemnation of the bipartisan policies of all the parties. His actions are suspect in my books.

Quote:

Disgraceful that the Liberals et al have pushed this so hard.........

Agreed, but the Conservatives share some of the blame, they should have been transparent through the whole process. Even while trying to have some of the documentation excluded.
 
pegger
No Party Affiliation
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy View Post

Disgraceful that the Liberals et al have pushed this so hard.........

Disgraceful that they had to push this hard IMHO.
 
mabudon
#20
Yeah, the way you put that, Colpy, is quite slanted, somehow Harper and his stonewalling is admirable and it's somehow sad that it met with so much resistance??

If that was what you meant, I must strongly disagree, pegger has the much more reasonable take on this.
 
CDNBear
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by mabudon View Post

Yeah, the way you put that, Colpy, is quite slanted, somehow Harper and his stonewalling is admirable and it's somehow sad that it met with so much resistance??

It may not be admirable, but it certainly isn't the monumental affront to justice and democracy the perpetual brain dead are making it out to be.
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#22
The Government may feel that it is acting in Canadiansí best interest, but the national security excuse doesnít hold water; our honourable senators and members of the House of Commons are able to hold proceedings Ďin cameraí, which forces all non-members (pages, assistants, etc.) to leave the chamber, turns off the cameras, and leaves all deliberations off the Hansard. This would most probably be the method used to discuss any unredacted documents, whether in the House or at committee.

Actually, it is an affront to the principle of parliamentary supremacy. By precedent, if the Speaker had ruled that the Government was not responsible for producing papers at the request of the Houses of Parliament, it would have rendered that power of the Houses over the prime minister deprecated, and the Government would have gained the right to deny the production of any papers.
 
CDNBear
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by FiveParadox View Post

The Government may feel that it is acting in Canadiansí best interest, but the national security excuse doesnít hold water; our honourable senators and members of the House of Commons are able to hold proceedings Ďin cameraí, which forces all non-members (pages, assistants, etc.) to leave the chamber, turns off the cameras, and leaves all deliberations off the Hansard. This would most probably be the method used to discuss any unredacted documents, whether in the House or at committee.

Irrelevant, it has historical precedent.

Quote:

Actually, it is an affront to the principle of parliamentary supremacy.

Of course it is, it's the Conservatives doing it...

Quote:

By precedent, if the Speaker had ruled that the Government was not responsible for producing papers at the request of the Houses of Parliament, it would have rendered that power of the Houses over the prime minister deprecated, and the Government would have gained the right to deny the production of any papers.

Of course, because an issue was made in spirit of partisanship, to smear the Gov't. Now overriding historical precedence. The Speaker could have easily made note of historical precedent and been done with it. He chose to dismiss both historical precedent AND the Gov'ts use of a recognized legal expert to assist the Minister in determining the sensitivity of the remaining documentation. To further partisan politics.

Because lets not lose sight of the FACT that the Gov't has already handed over extensive documentation, without this partisan BS.

Thus eroding his supposed neutrality. He must step down, his continued presence is an affront to the principles of his position.
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#24
Speaking of partisan BS...

The Speakerís role is not to defend the Government, it is to defend the rights of Parliament.

The House of Commons has the right to subpúna any documents it requires for its debates, full-stop.

This has always been the case, when an official motion is made to request papers.

CDNBear , why donít we just do away with Parliament altogether? The prime minister can just make laws using Royal Proclamations through the Governor General. That should make everything a little more rosy in Conservativeland.
 
Colpy
Conservative
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by mabudon View Post

Yeah, the way you put that, Colpy, is quite slanted, somehow Harper and his stonewalling is admirable and it's somehow sad that it met with so much resistance??

If that was what you meant, I must strongly disagree, pegger has the much more reasonable take on this.

I partially agree.......in that I thought from the first of this mess that the government should simply have owned up to the problem, and created a Canadian detention centre, manned by Afghans under NATO supervision.....thus removing the problem of torture, and creating a facility in which Afghans could be taught proper and humane interogation techniques......

It should be realized, at the same time, that this constant chipping away at the gov't on this issue is melting Canadian resolve (what little there remains, and provides our enemies with a propaganda blitz.......if not hard intel, before this is over. Its a WAR, fer God's sake.......

Politically, the Conservatives could have pointed out that it was the Liberals refusal to become involved in a proposed NATO detention centre that led to this bloody mess.

Win-win.

The CPC is much too quick to duck and cover.
 
CDNBear
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by FiveParadox View Post

Speaking of partisan BS...

I concur, your position and MIllikens is identical. Partisan.

Quote:

The Speakerís role is not to defend the Government, it is to defend the rights of Parliament.

I agree, so why did he dismiss historical precedent in favour of a partisan ploy to embarrass the Gov't?

Quote:

The House of Commons has the right to subpúna any documents it requires for its debates, full-stop.

I have never stated otherwise.

Quote:

This has always been the case, when an official motion is made to request papers.

Again, never stated otherwise.

Quote:

CDNBear , why donít we just do away with Parliament altogether?

Why don't you stay on topic and remain reasonable?

Quote:

The prime minister can just make laws using Royal Proclamations through the Governor General. That should make everything a little more rosy in Conservativeland.

And I would fight that as steadfastly as I am here and now on this topic.

Perhaps you might want to take a little trip back through this thread where I laid partial blame at the feet of the Conservatives for failing to act timely and transparently.
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#27
...and then demanded the resignation of the Speaker for doing his job.
 
CDNBear
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by FiveParadox View Post

...and then demanded the resignation of the Speaker for doing his job.

For doing his job?

You mean favouring the opposition is his job?

Ignoring historical precedent is his job?

You are kidding right?

Have you ever cited historical precedence in defense of the Monarchy Paradox?

Have you ever cited historical precedence is support of other gov't action?

Suddenly, now when it's politically partisan and expedient to do so, you dismiss it?

Paradox, I think far to highly of you to believe that. Please tell me it isn't so.
Last edited by CDNBear; Apr 28th, 2010 at 12:36 PM..
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy View Post

Personally, I think Harper has little choice but to cough up the documents......and that is how it should be.

Disgraceful that the Liberals et al have pushed this so hard.........

I find it just as disgraceful that a seated government has to be rebuked to act within policy.
 
CDNBear
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

I find it just as disgraceful that a seated government has to be rebuked to act within policy.

Like I've said numerous times now, they are acting within policy.

There is historical precedence that supports their position. They have acted in accordance with years of document handling in Parliament. This new batch of hyperbole is the same as the last batch over proroguing. BS.

Do they bear some responsibility? Absolutely. Are they acting outside policy? Absolutely not.
 

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