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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Thursday 25 September 2014

The Whistle Stops Here: Where's the Referee in Parliament?

I'm no expert on Parliamentary proceedings.  Like most Canadians, I think Parliament is proceeding very poorly.  Questions aren't answered, information is not shared, legitimate requests are shot down with school-yard retorts.
When the Leader of the Official Opposition asks a question about Canada's military commitment overseas, gets a snide come-back instead of anything approximating a legitimate answer and the only answer the Speaker can provide is "hey, don't look at me" - then something is decidedly wrong with the system.
It's not the Speaker's job to hold government to account - that's Parliament's job.  The problem is that Parliament is government - the party with the majority of seats, anyway.  Or in theory.  Truth be told it's a select few cabinet ministers, the PM and a retinue of unelected partisans who actually shape the agenda.
Accountability has left the building.  The referee is looking after his own interests.  The enforcers now own the rink - and they're not interested in playing the game, but in knocking out the competition.  The audience is an afterthought.
The question is, how do we get accountability back?
There's only one way, really - the audience has to step up from the sidelines and demand better.


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