The Conservatives’ contempt for Parliament apparently knows no bounds, as they are expected to deliver their fall economic update today, in Mississauga of all places. No, you’re not mistaken – the House isn’t sitting this week. For them to deliver it outside of the House shows contempt in and of itself, but to deliver it on a week where it’s not even sitting is just rubbing it in. It shows that the government doesn’t care what the House thinks, because there is no speech to MPs, and no chance for the other parties to respond to its delivery at that time. Oh, and in these times of “fiscal restraint,” the government could have delivered it in the House for no cost, or they could deliver it outside, in a ridiculously controlled environment with a ridiculous backdrop for hundreds of thousands of dollars. But hey, contempt of Parliament costs money, and they apparently are going to make us pay for it.
On the note of contempt for Parliament, I read something I had not thought about, but which poses some very interesting (and potentially disturbing) questions as to whether or not the Crown can govern the behaviour of parliamentarians: the way in which the regulations on designated public office holders went into effect a few weeks ago. These changes to the Lobbying Act regarding MPs and senators are out of order, says one former Liberal cabinet minister, who says that only parliamentarians can govern themselves, and not the Crown, which is how these changes came about. I do think he’s got a point, and that we should be very wary of the precedent this sets.
Meanwhile, this government’s ham-handedness on the international stage knows no bounds. When they’re not playing out domestic battles on the international scene (witness what’s going on with their commentary on our bid for a Security Council seat), they’ve decided to announce plans for a free trade agreement with Israel in advance of the vote on said seat – a move that not only surprised insiders, but also may not endear us to some of those voting nations. Meanwhile, negotiations with the United Arab Emirates broke down, causing the expulsion of a Canadian military base in the area, and the express forbidding of Peter MacKay and General Walt Natynczyk from entering the country. But hey, Canada’s back!
And Stephen Harper wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving. So does Jack Layton for that matter, but not Michael Ignatieff. Why does he hate Canadian Thanksgiving? (Elizabeth May didn’t either, but she did want you to know about the 10-10-10 campaign on global climate change, which counts – right?)