Punctuation
2 min

Crying over shredded files

Newly
minted NDP MPs are complaining to the media that outgoing MPs shredded constituency files when they left office. Pardon me
while I make a call to the minister of state for poor little bunny. These files
tend to be things such as immigration forms that constituents ask their MPs to
help them with. But here’s the thing – these matters aren’t actually an
MP’s job. Sure, it’s become what’s expected of them: the size and complexity of the civil service have caused people to turn to their MPs to act as a kind of ombudsman when they have
difficulty with the bureaucracy, and it’s a way of doing good “constituency
work,” which MPs hope will earn them goodwill and votes. But given
our decline in civic literacy, both the voting public and MPs have determined
this to be an integral part of their duties, with some going so far as to hire full-time staffers just to deal with immigration cases. Not someone to help them
track things like government spending so that these MPs can do their actual job
of – say it with me – holding the government to account by determining whether
or not to grant supply. It’s all part of the “working for you” mentality that is killing the system. The NDP MPs, with their
charming but wrong notion that Parliament is a cooperative board game where
everyone needs to “work together” so that everybody can win (rather than, you
know, actually hold a government to account), feel that it’s somehow unfair
that they – and by extension their constituents – are being “punished” when
these constituency files end up in the shredder. Never mind privacy laws, which are the real reason files such as these are shredded; we need to pander more. If anyone is being “childish” about this, it’s not the outgoing MPs; it’s the NDP MPs whining that they have to put more effort
into pandering instead of actually doing their jobs.

While Jason Kenney crows about the “success” of his new program that encourages people
to inform on suspected “war criminals,” after two of the alleged criminals were arrested when their
names and faces were made public, here are some questions that have been raised
about this practice, including how this is put into the
hands of immigration officials, who have much more lax standards for evidence than
say, oh, a criminal court, which these suspects haven’t been convicted by.

More
premiers are lining up against Harper’s Senate “reform” bill. As well they
should since it’s unconstitutional.

Remember
our promise to resettle Afghan translators and their families in Canada because
we put them at risk for retribution? And how we were totally going to resettle
about 500 of them… next year, maybe? Here’s a story that talks to them about the dangers their families face.

Here’s
a bit more about the needed renovations to 24 Sussex and some of the potential green fixes.

And Kady
O’Malley continues her comparison of our Parliament to that of Great Britain. This time, she looks at the House of Commons itself and ways in which the British have structured theirs to provide for better debate.Bookmark and Share