Politics
2 min

Don’t call it a vote to extend the mission

Thanks to a bit of clever wordplay and
misdirection, aided and abetted by certain clueless media types, the government
now touts how Parliament voted to extend the mission in Libya. Which is a bit
false – the government has the Crown Prerogative to extend the mission without
the blessing of the House, and that’s the way the system should be for the
simple fact that it allows the legislature to hold said government to account.
If Parliament needs to sign off on these kinds of deployments, it means that
they can’t hold the government to account, as they’re the ones who signed off,
and it will lead to the kinds of caveats that paralyzed most of the European
country deployments in Afghanistan. Of course, Harper has been creating the
illusion that he’s giving Parliament the say, which you can bet he’s going to
use to wash his hands of accountability if things go wrong. (It wouldn’t be the
first time – he did it with the disastrous appointment of Christine Ouimet). So really, he extended the mission using his prerogative and put on a show of a take-note debate in the Commons, which is important 
– so long as it
’s clear that it’s a take-note debate and giving the House the power over military deployments. As
for the debate itself, there were some pretty great exchanges between Bob Rae and NDP
defence critic Jack Harris that are worth checking out.

Here’s a look at the Keystone XL pipeline protest on the Hill yesterday.

The NDP say it's going to turn over the
G8 file with all of Tony Clement’s misdeeds to the RCMP. Um, like former Liberal
MP Marlene Jennings did months ago? Just saying.

Speaking of the NDP, members are looking to
make formal agreements with the Labour parties of Australia and the UK in
order to combat what they see as the alliances of the conservative parties of
those countries. (Note: in Australia, the conservative party is called the
Liberal Party. Go figure.)

John Baird addressed the UN and offered
the usual defence of Israel and denunciation of terror, and hey, added the
persecution of gays and lesbians in Uganda for good measure. What a guy.

Liberal trade critic Wayne Easter is crying
foul
 about the government’s secrecy over their trade negotiations with the
European Union.

And that story about how Canada may have
contributed to the ransom of our kidnapped diplomats in West Africa? It could
mean our own government may have contravened the country’s anti-terror finance
laws. Oops.

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