Bushwhacked!

In a night of Parliament that left me wondering “Is this right?”, the Liberals, apparently noticing that 6 Conservative MP’s were nowhere to be found, called a snap motion to end debate on C-48 at 11:45 p.m. and proceed to straight to 3rd reading vote. With the 6 Conservative members absent there was no challenge to bill C-48, which passed 152 to 147.

Now whether you supported C-48 or not you still have to ask yourself “Is this democracy?” Is it appropriate for the government to take such action in an obvious bid to remain in power? It’s mind-boggling to think that Paul Martin campaigned on resolving the democratic deficit. The Conservatives are livid, and Canadians should be too. Not because bill C-48 was passed, but because of how it was passed.

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8 Comments

  1. Manatee said,

    Thursday, 23 June 2005 at 11:16 pm

    I commend the parties voting in favour of time allocation for preventing the COnservatives from wasting even more time filibustering and obstructing parliament. Of all of the questionable parliamentary procedure we have been witness to of late, this is by far the least offensive.

    $4.6 billion for the environment, education, affordible housing, foreign aid. That’s what I call responsible government.

  2. Manatee said,

    Thursday, 23 June 2005 at 11:44 pm

    I’m surprised CTV and O’Smiley would refer to time allocation as rarely used. Every raging Reform partisan I’ve ever met can tell you how often the Chretien government used it.

    http://www.sfu.ca/~aheard/221/closure.html

  3. Gnomes said,

    Friday, 24 June 2005 at 9:24 am

    I agree with Manatee on this one. I was up in arms over the Liberals shrugging off a quasi-confidence vote, but it they can get a majority of MPs onside to get something done in this disfunctional House, more power to them.

  4. O'Smiley said,

    Friday, 24 June 2005 at 10:58 am

    I don’t disagree with the closure of debate. It was about time. I disagree with the timing of the vote. The representatives for approximately 600000 Canadians were not given their chance to vote because of the timing. To say that we don’t agree with your vote so we will ensure your not in the house when the vote takes place is demeaning to democracy.

    I also disagree with manatee on C-48. $4.6 billion to do what for the environment? what for education? what for affordable housing? what for foreign aid? Bill C-48 does not define any of this. In total bill C-48 ran a page and a half for $4.6 billion. If I wrote a scope of work document that long for a $10,000 project, I would be sent packing. This is far from responsible government.

  5. Gnomes said,

    Friday, 24 June 2005 at 11:52 am

    When the House is this close, MPs have a responsibility to either be in the House or be paired.

  6. Anonymous said,

    Friday, 24 June 2005 at 1:14 pm

    Or if their intention is to lose a vote, to not be in the House.

  7. Manatee said,

    Saturday, 25 June 2005 at 12:58 pm

    O’smiley, my copy of bill C-43 is only 120 pages (including preable, cover, etc) to the 6 pages I have for Bill C-48. Since C-48 is equivelent to 1% of the spending of C-43, I would suggest it’s length is not an issue. For every budget there would be thousands and thousands of pages describing it’s implementation. I’m sure you will be able to read these by contacting the appropriate minister. Notice C-48 3(a-f), I’m sure you can appreciate that this work will be complex, and it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect everything to be spelled out in what is meant to be an overview document.

  8. O'Smiley said,

    Monday, 27 June 2005 at 9:39 pm

    Manatee, I don’t see where you get 6 pages for bill C-48. At most I get 4 with cover and summary page. I don’t appreciate that 3 a-f will be complex work. An implementation plan, although never included in these documents, should be required. This is not rocket science (which really isn’t as complex as it is often alluded to), just program allocation (environment is not a program). At minimum I would like to see a PLAN as to which specific programs in 2 a-d will see funding i.e.: a) how will transit funds be allocated; b) How will money be allocated to enhance training and gain increased access to post secondary schools (will it go to schools, grants, who benifits, everyone, low income, etc); c) what affordable housing programs, what areas of the country; d) what foreign programs, specific groups, africa, asia, who are we helping. At most we’re talking 10 pages of thought. I don’t think that is too much to ask.


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