Monday, September 18, 2006


In case there's any doubt which party is devoted to dumbing down Canadian politics, the Cons are now under the impression that all the issues surrounding the deepening quagmire in Afghanistan can be thoroughly dealt with in Question Period alone:
Parliamentary Secretary to the foreign affairs minister Deepak Obhrai (Calgary East, Alta.) said last week that there's no need to introduce a votable motion in the House by the NDP as the mission has already been extended until 2009...

Mr. Obhrai said the opposition parties could ask their questions during the daily Question Period.

"We will be answering all the questions [in the daily QP] that they have, so we don't feel there's a need for any debate," said Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister in an interview with The Hill Times recently. "This is an open government and we have nothing to hide so we will be answering any questions they have, they can ask the same questions during the Question Period."

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay (Central Nova, N.S.) also told CBC's The National recently that the government does not want another debate on Afghanistan...
In a sense, it shouldn't be much surprise that the Cons favour a format where Harper's inner circle of trained seals can recite talking points ad nauseum, rather than one where their backbenchers might either demonstrate that the party truly is intelligence-optional, or worse yet present better-informed opinions than those approved by Central Command.

That said, it takes an awfully low opinion of both the value of an interplay of ideas and the attention span of Canadians to think that serious policy issues can be addressed through Question Period alone. And if the Cons really have that little interest in meaningful discussion, then it may be time to restore them to their more familiar place on the opposite side of Question Period.

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