Thursday, February 03, 2011

On exceptional outcomes

It's great news that the NDP's efforts to make AIDS drugs more accessible in Africa have received a surprising reprieve in the House of Commons, as federal MPs granted unanimous consent to allow Paul Dewar to assume sponsorship of a bill introduced by Judy Wasylycia-Leis.

But it's also worth noting how the obvious pluses to such a simple exception make the usual rules of Ottawa look even more pointless and petty than they might otherwise. And I'd be curious to know when the last time was that anything with the potential to produce substantive policy results was agreed to by all parties as a matter of comity (rather than, say, the political posturing involved in the legislation to override the regulatory decision to shut down the Chalk River reactor).

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