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Conservatives still trying to play games at Afghanistan Committee.

So here we are at the newly reconstituted parliamentary committee looking at the Afghanistan detainees situation and at the thorny question of the documentation surrounding Canadian policy and such, and there should be no surprise that the Conservatives immediately try some gamesplaying.

Not a surprise, and not a surprise Laurie Hawn would be the chief instigator of it:

Laurie Hawn then brings forward a motion of his own about former justice Iacobucci, which would recommend that the esteemed jurist review “all relevant documents,” with a particular emphasis on those prepared between 2001 and 2005..Lalonde reminds Hawn that the committee does have a “constitutional right” to see all documents; its members can undertake not to reveal the more sensitive materal publicly, which is how its done in the United States. You know, the government’s case really would be a lot stronger if the Iacobucci mandate had actually been released, since – as Harris is pointing out as I type this – at the moment, this is a wee bit premature. Maybe he’s already going to be directed to look at those newly revealed documents from the Liberal days! Anyway, it sounds like the opposition members, after initially almost falling for the trap laid by Hawn, are now rallying against it. Nice try, guys, but it would’ve worked better with a less non-existent terms of reference. Hawn passive aggressively hopes that this isn’t an attempt by the Liberals to cover up the role of the previous government in any detainee-related misdoings, although if that was actually the case, why would the NDP and the Bloc be on side? Dosanjh assures him that he still wants the committee to go back to 2002 — “we have nothing to hide.”

It will be interesting to see the strategy of the opposition parties, because even though all 3 of them can at any time bring forth the much-talked about “Conservative government in contempt of Parliament” point of order, (and follow that up with a request for the Speaker to issue a Speaker’s order that all Afghan detainees documents be turned over to Parliament), all have chosen for now to wait.

One could say it perhaps is the fear of Harper deciding to dissolve Parliament rather then be compelled by Parliament’s Speaker to turn over documents and endure a humiliating “contempt” ruling – with the possibility of himself and government ministers being forced to stand at the bar of the House of Commons and endure an all-MP interrogation, or worse, being put under arrest by the Speaker for contempt and having the Parliamentary dungeon used again for its original purpose. However, even the BQ (who have good polling results right now in Quebec) have decided to play the waiting game on the parliamentary version of the nuclear option, instead choosing to hammer on the government’s proposal to “screen documents” with a former SC judge who has no legal weight in anything he might decide on, and hasn’t even been officially given a mandate.

It’s an obvious attempt to stall and whitewash this, and so far the opposition parties seem content with pointing out the dishonesty/hypocrisy of the government in going this route. I suspect though, that you’ll see some more serious manoeuvres in the next 2 weeks from the opposition parties, if the government continues to stonewall.


10 comments to Conservatives still trying to play games at Afghanistan Committee.

  • Ottlib

    My guess is the Liberals would like to wait until after their thinkers conference before bringing forward a motion of contempt.

    They have invested too much time, effor and money in organizing it to let it fall by the wayside if Mr. Harper decides to pull the plug.

  • Red Forever

    Harper would have the nerve to seek dissolution, rather than answer for anything.

    The opposition should call his bluff.

    Mr openness and accountability would have a hard time explaining that one to people.

    When you stand up to a bully, they quickly crumple.

    Harper isn’t in exactly great political shape now, force the issue.


    • wilson

      ok, if Libs table Lee’s motion, it is an obvious lack of confidence in the government having the moral authority to govern, and will result in an election.
      Bringing down the govt over the Afghan detainee issue, especially with the good Judge Iaco willing to review the docs and un-redact those that should be public, would not go over so well with Canadians.

      • Red Forever


        It’s time for bed little girl.

        You have had a long day.

        You need to get rested up, to delight the masses all over the net tommorrow.

        Please bring some fresh talking points to amuse us.

        Thank You

        Liberal Friend

        • Fred from BC

          @Red Forever,

          Wow. If that’s the best response you can muster to Wilson’s spot-on arguments, no wonder you guys are losing the confidence of the public. And you calling her a ‘little girl’ is just as hilarious as it is ironic…

      • Jon Pertwee

        @Fred from BC, please, all wilson has done is rehash yet another talking point. Because you believe it is a “spot on” argument does not necessarily make it so. To be honest Fred it’s a statement without proof or, an opinion if you prefer.

        Spouting the talking points of the Conservative party is hardly a “spot on” argument, its rehashing.

        Blog commenters losing the confidence of the public? What planet are you on Fred? Unless you can provide balanced examples of this trend occurring within the Canadian public, I’d say its just another pipe dream of yours.

        Good thing BC has plenty of intelligent and objective people in it to balance the biased likes of you.

        • Red Forever

          Fred from BC,

          OK I will take the bait.

          Parliament is supreme.

          Parliament has ordered the unredacted release of those documents to the committee.

          The liberals have said they do not mind an inquiry, into the transfer of Afgahn detainees from the start of the mission in Afghanistan.

          Liberals say they have nothing to hide.

          What are the conservatives so afraid of.

          Conservatives have turned down an offer to have some of the commitee members, sworn in as members of the privy council, and review all unredacted documents in camera.

          Is that enough detail for you sport?

          You conservatives should stop embarassing yourselves.

          It is pathetic and sad.

          “Wilson” is all over the net day and night spewing the same bilge.

          It never changes EVER

          Get your facts straight, then maybe you will have a basis for you silly and inane arguments.

          “Wilson” is just a fool

          What are you?

  • bull caller

    Good god is anyone surprised?

    All you have to do is come up with the lowest, most lame and underhanded thing someone can do in a situation, and sitting right there will be a conservative. When is the opposition going to stop this madness? This has nothing to do with timing, diplomacy, etc. – it really is a matter of right and wrong. The conservatives are out of control and are quickly destroying the government and the country. They need to be stopped and held to account.

    For god’s sake do something besides writing letters! Hold them in contempt already!!

  • Big Winnie

    I’m getting tired of hearing the govt say “legally available” or “national security” or give some other BS reason for not handing over the UNREDACTED docs. If the govt doesn’t release those docs to the committee by the end of next week, I would certainly bring forward the motion to charge the got with Contempt of Parliament.

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