Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On compromised positions

In general, Rob Nicholson's excuses for ignoring the will of the House of Commons naturally ring entirely hollow. (Basically, the theme seems to be that the government doesn't have to produce squat if there's a "debate" about what it's required to do, and since the Cons refuse to acknowledge that they're required to do anything there will always be a debate.)

But it's worth pointing out that the opposition's efforts to allow the Cons to impose conditions on the release of the ordered records seem to have given rise to part of Nicholson's defence:
(T)he Member for St. John’s East and the Member for Saint-Jean asked you to find a prima facie breach of privilege based on the House order of December 10, 2009. Yet, from the motion they proposed should such a prima facie case were to be found, they made it clear that no actual breach of privilege has occurred since the original order lacked procedures to protect national security interests.
In other words, the fact that the NDP and the Bloc have proposed that information be subject to some negotiated "national security" protection is actually being used to suggest that the Cons can validly thumb their noses at the House of Commons' order.

Which will hopefully make for a lesson to the opposition parties that I've tried to point out before: demand full accountability that the Cons can't wriggle out of on technical grounds, not partial and limited disclosure that makes it less clear what's being ordered.

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