Monday, October 25, 2010

Fool me 2,794 times...

The Hill Times follows up on the Libs' capitulation on calling political staffers to testify in front of committees. And their spin looks to be getting more and more embarrassing by the day:
Liberal committee member Wayne Easter (Malpeque, P.E.I.) said his party wanted to see the issue dealt with by the Procedure and House Affairs Committee. "I don't think that there's any question that Parliamentary privileges have been to a great extent breached and the government is involving itself in a cover-up by denying witnesses and documents coming forward. But be that as it may, we're willing to ask them to have a second look at it," he said. "We're hoping they would—given the controversy over the Afghan documents, given the controversy over the witnesses coming for Access to Information—we're hoping that they will see better of their ways here."
Of course, it's easy enough to ask what in their five-year history of compulsive secrecy and refusal to admit error would give the slightest hint that the Cons are interested in acting better even if they have any recollection as to what divides right from wrong. But what's even more striking is that Easter himself rightly frames the Cons as breaching privilege and covering up the truth - yet somehow keeps peddling the line that it's reasonable to expect them to be overcome with humility and honour.

Needless to say, we've seen what happens in substance when the Libs pretend it's reasonable to hope for the Harper Cons to act in good faith. But it's worth noting that the political effects are no less damaging than the substantive ones, as the Libs still haven't figured out that it only helps the Cons to send the message that they should be seen as reasonable in the face of all evidence, rather than highlighting the idea that they can't be trusted to exercise arbitrary power which runs contrary to Canada's democratic system.

Unfortunately, though, the Libs seem bent on continuing to enable the Cons' abuses. Which means that there's a desperate need to clear out two federal parties rather than just one in order to start getting our system of public accountability into working order.

(Edit: fixed typo.)

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