Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dysfunctional meetings about dysfunctional governance

What Harper has labelled as a dysfunctionally operating parliament has been more disrupted by the extraneous law suits and committee hearings than actually what took place inside the chamber.

When Harper meets with the opposition leaders he should offer to clean up some of the lawsuits that are getting in the way of a functioning parliament since many of them are coming to head this fall.
The Tories have sued Elections Canada for withholding 2006 campaign reimbursements. Elections Canada alleges that the Tories illegally funnelled advertising expenses during the 2006 campaign, allowing the Tories to exceed their national campaign spending limit by $1.3 million.
The parliamentary inquiry into the Conservative "in and out" election scheme looking into allegations the Conservative party illegally skirted its spending limit for the 2006 election.
Harper's $3.5-million defamation suit against the Liberal party for defamation of character and loss of personality relating to a statement on the Liberal web site regarding the Cadman tapes.
A federal judge is expected to come forth with a ruling on the KPIA in September. This is the case where an environment group is asking the judge to compel the Conservative government to follow the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act that became law in June 2007.
To name a few
But unfortunately in the surreal world of political rhetoric the meetings will be nothing more than posturing, so that Harper can justify calling the election. With the Canadian economy expected to decline further through 2009, there is no way that Harper wants to wait until his mandate runs out in 2009. 

As for Dion he is somewhat boxed in. At the risk of loosing the momentum that his party has gained in Quebec, he can no longer sit back and abstain from voting on the key issues. So with the next election being about who is going to get to form the next minority government, the next question is who is going to pull the trigger.

And logically it will be Harper with all the bluster and indignation he can muster.

If I was an opposition leader I would tape the meeting, but I guess that would only lead to more Tory lawsuits down the road.

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