Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Well Done, Mr. Speaker

The federal government breached parliamentary privilege with its refusal to produce uncensored documents related to the treatment of Afghan detainees and must provide the material to MPs within two weeks, Speaker Peter Milliken has ruled.

In case you were wondering at all, that was an important and historic statement by the Speaker. To sum it up (the full transcript is here, Mr. Milliken ruled that Charles I Stephen Harper and his cabinet cannot refuse to do the bidding of Parliament, period, full stop. The notion that Parliament, not the executive branch, runs the show goes back a fair ways, probably at least to the above-alluded-to English Civil War, and it is really no exaggeration to say that, had the Speaker ruled differently, the Canadian political system would have been dramatically altered at a stroke. So, it was a big day for the country, and again, a hearty "well done" to Mr. Milliken.

Anyway, long day at work, so I'll wimp out at this point and let you go and read Dr. Dawg's excellent and detailed analysis of the situation!

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