Sunday, March 28, 2010

The reviews are in

The Star Phoenix editorial board is getting ever more outraged at the Harper Cons' contempt for democracy:
Whatever the reason, the Conservative government seems determined to denigrate and diminish Parliament. And it's time that Canadians paid attention.

The latest insult was the government's cynical decision Thursday to dump in boxes below the Speaker's chair some 2,500 heavily censored documents that deal with the increasingly questionable Afghan detainee issue. It was the same issue that caused Prime Minister Stephen Harper to prorogue Parliament in late December rather than face grilling by a Commons committee.

And it was the same issue that instigated a rare instance of weekend work for the government, when it chose a Saturday afternoon to announce the mandate it had established for former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci to determine what information, if any, should be censored on the grounds of national security.

More disturbing than the Conservatives' cynical treatment of that information, however, is their even more cynical treatment of power of Parliament.

It appears that the Conservatives believe the credibility and sustainability of Canada's democratic institutions are little more than a joke.
Prime Minister Harper's spokesman, Dimitri Soudas, called the release of the censored documents a show of "transparency" on the government's part.

Apparently, that's what serves as humour in our capital.
Canadians have given the Conservatives a pass.

That seems to be more of a statement on the relative impotence of the opposition than it is on the management abilities of a government that misjudged a pending economic tsunami, cut taxes at the worst possible time and stumbled into the steepest deficit in Canada's history.

But if Ms. Hébert is right, Canadians won't have long to take notice and decide how much of their constitutional power they are willing to let slip from their grip.

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