Friday, March 5, 2010

Harris-Decima Poll: Tie!

Harris-Decima has posted the results of its poll, which is now a week old.This actually shows very little change since HD's last poll, taken between February 4 and February 14. The Conservatives drop one and the Liberals gain one to tie at 31%, while the NDP remains stable at 16%. The Bloc drops two points nationally while the Greens gain two points, rising to 12%. The MOE of 2.2, however, puts all of these within the statistical noise.

Speaking of which, for regional results I will only mention variations outside of the MOE in the future.

In Ontario, the Liberals remain in the lead at 38%, with the Conservatives close on their heels at 35%. The Tories should be happy they are still putting up a fight in Ontario, because the way their vote in the West is dropping they need those seats. The NDP is struggling at 14%.

In Quebec, the Bloc drops five points to 36%, still well ahead of the Liberals at 24%. The Conservatives are weak at 16% but the NDP is strong at 12%.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives hold a small lead with 32%, while the Liberals have gained seven points and are at 30%. We've been seeing a close race here poll after poll. The NDP is at 24%.

The Conservatives have dropped 10 points in Alberta and stand at 48%. The Liberals are doing well with 22%. The Prairies is as it always is, while the Liberals are way ahead in Atlantic Canada with 42% to the NDP's 27% and the Tories' 21%.

The Conservatives would still take the most seats, with 65 out West, 42 in Ontario, 6 in Quebec, and 5 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 118.

The Liberals would stand very close to that number, with 20 seats out West, 53 in Ontario, 16 in Quebec, and 22 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 111.

The Bloc wins 51 seats in Quebec, while the NDP takes 10 seats in the West, 11 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 5 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 28.

Like Allan Gregg says in the poll's analysis, this appears to be the new normal. Until further notice.

240 comments:

  1. This poll was out for awhile-the same day as the Ipsos-Reid poll. I wondered why it wasn't reported before.

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  2. It was reported on in the media, HD just took a few days to post the full results on their website.

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  3. I'm surprised that these numbers would yield 65 Tory seats out west. They took 70 seats in the west last time - but if these numbers were true and the Tories crashed to 32% in BC (a 13 point drop) they would lose more than 5 seats in BC alone. These Alberta numbers would probably mean a Liberal win somewhere in Edmonton and the NDP folding Strathcona and if the Tory vote in Man/Sask actually fell from 51% to 44% and the Liberals vote went up by a similar amount - they would lose several marginal seats to the Liberals in Winnipeg. They would end up with more like 60 seats and that's not even counting a possible NDP pick or two in Saskatchewan.

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  4. There are actually only two tory seats in Winnipeg in play.

    1. Winnipeg Saint Boniface

    2. Winnipeg South

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  5. DL

    There is such a close race now in BC though between all three parties that you'll probably see the Conservatives win seats because of the divided left vote.

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  6. If we believe this poll and the latest Ekos poll - it has NDP support in BC about the same as last election. If Tory support collapses from 45% to 30-32%, NDP support remains at about 25% (ie same as last time) and the Liberal vote rises from 19% to 30% - I don't see how the Tories GAIN anything. Its clear that if the polls are to be believed (and that is another question), the Liberal rise in BC is 100% coming from disaffected Tories. The centre-right in BC is getting split between the Liberals and Tories. The left is with the NDP (and some misguided Greens)

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  7. I'm not from BC so I don't no much about voting there. I just glanced at some of the results from ridings in BC and in 2008 the Liberals weren't even in contention in alot of ridings and the race was between the NDP and Conservatives. The Conservatives also won alot of land slides there, the Liberlas need to start getting support from the people who have started voting NDP in the last few elections to have a real comback.

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  8. In the 2006 election, the Liberals took 28% of the vote in BC. That collapsed to 19% in 2008 and virtually all of those losses went to the Tories. In BC the Liberals are seen largely as a right-of-centre party.

    I think IF the Liberal vote went back up to 2006 levels in BC (ie: high 20s) you would probably see the following Tory seats go Liberal: North vancouver, West Vancouver-Sea to sky etc..., Richmond, Fleetwood-Fort Kells and maybe Saanich-Gulf Islands.

    Of course, I'm not saying that this will happen. I'm just saying that IF these polls were borne out and the Tories dropped about 10% and it all went Liberal - that is what would happen.

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  9. Hopefully your right DL!

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  10. Not to mention you'd see a couple NDP seats go Liberal, namely Vancouver-Kingsway and possibly, just possibly, one of the Burnabys. Can't forget those DL. ;)

    Interesting poll, though. The CPC is really dropping out West - I don't get it. I can't think of anything, outside of Harper fatigue, that would do this, at least not in all three regions.

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  11. I actually think the budget will be vote friendly for the Tories out west. It uses restraint not tax increases to solve the deficit and to some extent attacks (although a year or two down the line) big government. That should play well with the Sask. Party, WRA, AB PC'S and BC Lib supporters. It may play less well in the rest of the nation over time.

    I see that PEI is already squealing about equalization being cut. One day this country is going to square off between so called haves and have nots. Eventually SK, AB, BC and ON are going to tire of paying out big bucks not just in equalization but in EI premiums, income and business taxes and so on to support the gold plated services the have nots, have!

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  12. Volkov,

    Harper "Fatigue"

    That's how I explain it.

    When is it really going to start to set in, in Ontario.

    Earl,

    I come from a have not province.

    Hope we can still be friends.

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  13. 49 Steps,

    It may not set in Ontario too quickly, if the effect even exists. I mean, it was only in 2008 that the Conservatives managed to get the plurality of seats in Ontario, or even the plurality of votes, and even then, they didn't exactly have a blow out.

    That was based on Harper's side of moderation he's shown since 2006, and Dion's fumblings. In all honesty, while Harper is an asshole, he hasn't completely destroyed the government how we know it, which is what essentially buoyed a lot of the Liberal vote in 06 and 04.

    However, as he continually shows his dark side, by proroguing Parliament, by covering up the detainees issue, by giving us this dribble called a throne speech and budget, the "fatigue" will continue to set in. The Liberal lead in Ontario isn't for no reason.

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  14. Seeing Ontario is a Have Not province, and most likly will be for a while, they won't be happy to see transfer payments cut off.

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  15. @Earl:
    In my opinion, going from a $55 billion to a $49 billion deficit doesn't count as any sort of a solution for the deficit.

    "Canada will not go into deficit."
    - Prime Minister Harper, Feb 9 2008

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  16. Volkov,

    Sounds about right

    My take is if Harper could only manage 38% against Dion, and the green shift, that has to be a pretty telling sign on his capacities as a leader.

    The detainee issue makes me very angry.

    I am very concerned about it.

    I am not:

    1. A "Taliban Lover"

    2. "Unpatriotic"

    3. "Not a supporter of our troops"

    I want international law, and human rights respected.

    I still maintain that there has to be something very damning in those documents, for the cons to keep fighting to with hold them unredacted.

    I am sick and tired of their shenanigans.

    Parliamentary supremacy MUST be respected.

    As for the asshole part, Harper fits that bill, and a lot of others I can't say here.

    Assholes pretty much sums up that whole damn cabinet of his.

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  17. 49 Steps of course we can still be friends. I'd like to see the way equalization is determined changed so that it no longer rewards a province for running up debt. As it is a more a province owes in relation to taxes collected, GDP, and other items, is used to determine it's fiscal capacity. NB, NL, and MB have all moved to reduce provincial debt levels despite the fact that it means lower equalization in the long run. That's moving their provinces towards a better future and using equalization the way it was meant to be used.

    Good fortune,

    Earl

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  18. I'm glad Harper is being a grown up and protecting national security on the afghan documents.

    Here's now appointed a well respected fmr supreme court justice to review the impartial recomendations of the civil servants at DOJ.

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20100305/afghan_documents_100303/20100305?hub=TopStoriesV2

    This is how government should work, with the well being of our fighting men and women protected at all times!

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  19. J: Ontario is still considered a have province because although it does receive a small amount of equalization it still sends much more to Ottawa than it gets back. There is a huge fiscal gap. So ON contributes through EI premiums, business and personal income taxes and excise taxes on gas, tobacco and alcohol.

    Good fortune,

    Earl

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  20. Hey Shadow: Completely agree as regards the release confidential material. I don't think Lee's motion would have passed in any event.

    Cheers,

    Earl

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  21. Shadow,

    I'm similarly glad that Harper appointed a former Supreme Court judge to oversee this issue. But I bet you any money that if he rules in the direction Harper doesn't want, then Harper won't obey it.

    And enough with the "protecting our soldiers" BS. No one buys it. Not the public. Not the people on this blog. No one. It's simply a non-excuse. Our parliamentarians are the elected representatives for the people of this country. If you can't trust them, you might as well install Harper as king and, yes, send soldiers into our streets.

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  22. Shadow,

    What part of Parliamentary Supremacy do you not understand.

    I am so sick and tired of you throwing the troops around in an effort to justify, the withholding of those documents.

    For the safety of our troops we need to get to the bottom of this issue.

    You obviously do not think our parliamentarians can be trusted.

    It is not up to a retired judge to decide if parliament can see those documents.

    Parliament has allready decided that.

    I guess you never heard of the old saying "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"

    Earl,

    Glad we can still be friends.

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  23. Volkov:
    "Our parliamentarians are the elected representatives for the people of this country. If you can't trust them, you might as well install Harper as king and, yes, send soldiers into our streets."

    If Harper doesn't agree with the Judge's findings then the opposition has a duty to Canada to defeat him. I think he would lose a subsequent election.

    As for your quote I'll guess that there are MP's on all sides who would leak information they felt was "safe" but supported their parties position. One or more of them would make a mistake and yes it would endanger Canadian lives.

    Cheers,

    Earl

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  24. It is difficult to believe that the information being withheld, which would be embarrassing to the government, is coincidentally the kind of information that, if released, would endanger Canadian lives.

    This level of coincidence makes many Canadians question the motivation behind withholding this information.

    We've already seen, in the case of Paradis, a minister intervene to block the release of embarrassing information.

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  25. Shadow,

    I may as well get this off my chest well I am at it.

    Your cavalier dismissal of human rights, and the respect of international law, deeply saddens
    and troubles me.

    The Harper government does not want those documents released, because they were complicit in torture.

    EVERYBODY KNOWS IT

    Won't that be sweet headlines for our country.

    I don't call you on a lot Shadow, but I am drawing the line on this one.

    I find your arguments on this subject nauseating, and disgusting.

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  26. Eric your logic is deeply flawed.

    You're assuming that the information being withheld is being done so because it would embarras the government.

    On the contrary, the impartial, non-partisan public servants at DOJ have released all information and only redacted sensitive information that the release of which to the public would endanger the troops.

    Other democracies such as the US don't let every random elected representative unlimited access to top secret information. Often its only the chairman and ranking member of the house and senate intelligence committees in the US that are privy to info.

    We're really supposed to trust all our MPs and senators, 400+ individuals don't pose a security risk ??

    Really ?

    As for Paradis the fact that we know about the incident proves that it was a one off mistake.

    If there really was a pattern of witholding information as you are suggesting we wouldn't have found out about it and Paradis wouldn't have recieved the dressing down from the PMO.

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  27. Volkov enough with the false choices.

    You really think that allowing unrestricted access to everything is a good idea ? For every MP and senator ?

    Of course it would harm the troops. That's blazingly obvious.

    And the alternative isn't everyone sees it or a dictatorship.

    There are all kinds of compromises that could be worked out.

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  28. Shadow,

    Then lets see them, because the Harper government has yet to even show that they're willing to "compromise." The day I see Harper compromise for any reason other than his job might be in trouble is the day pigs fly.

    "False choices" my arse.

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  29. The information in question is all from two or three years ago. Its absurd to think that there is ANYTHING in there that would have the slightest impact on the safety of troops in Afghanistan now. That's a total red herring.

    Its common knowledge that anything "redacted" was redacted because it made the Tories look bad. Its like the mysterious gaps in the White House tapes at the height of Watergate (there is that Harper/Nixon comparison again - funny that)

    I suspect Harper probably talked to the judge in advance and made some deal whereby he will do whatever the Tories want him to do in exchange for some payoff.

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  30. Volkov do you remember Liberal MP Ujjal Dosangh tweeting during a closed meeting ?

    Or Maxime Bernier leaving documents at his girlfriends house ?

    I wouldn't trust the lives of the men and women fighting for us in the hands of every elected MP and senator, the risk is too great.

    If parliament wishes to ammend several acts which legally constrain what the DOJ can hand over to them they are free to do so.

    My suggestion would be to set up a small committee of government and official opposition members, who were cleared by CSIS and the PM and leader of the opposition had agreed to.

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  31. It was already suggested that the committee members (or some segment of them) be sworn in as privy council members and be shown the un-whitewashed documents in camera - the Tories refused. They are desperate to keep incriminating stuff from being exposed.

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  32. DL there would still be loads of sensitive information in those documents.

    Possible examples could be practices and procedures when capturing and questioning detainees.

    Knowing that would make it easier for the enemy to possibly escape, kill a soldier, or plan a rescue.

    The army doesn't change how they do things every year. Just because the documents are a couple years old doesn't mean they don't contain secrets.

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  33. Shadow,

    Those are all legitimate concerns, though mind you, Dosanjh would be probably be apart of that stuff, since he's the defense critic, and he is a former Premier.

    And I'm even happy with such a compromise. But, you're the guy suggesting it - not Harper's government. You cannot support this stubbornness on the part of the government, can you?

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  34. "It will harm the troops"

    TRANSLATION "it will harm the Conservative Party"

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  35. Incidentally, I have read a few articles lately about how Canada is one of the worst and most closed countries in the western world when it comes to freedom of information. If this was the US or Great Britain, the documents in question would have been released long ago.

    Shadow reminds of Republicans in the US who tried to cover up the atrocities at Abu Ghraib on the ground that it would reveal national secrets about torture techniques.

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  36. CBC reporting

    "Deteinee transfer deliberate"

    Other nice stuff in documents for cons as well.

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  37. I have the highest respect for Frank Iacobucci. I'm fully confident that he would make the right decision on each document he reviews.

    Referring the documents to him is still a bad idea. A very bad idea.

    This is an attempt to chip away a little bit more at the supremacy of Parliament, the legislature of this country, in favour of our executive. The subtext is that the executive will decide, using its own mechanisms, what is subject to our laws. This is very unsettling and none of the opposition parties should stand for it. Neither should Conservatives who believe in our system of government.

    Once again, this is tactically valuable to Stephen Harper, but strategically disastrous. The Conservatives will not be in power forever and when they're out, they'll want all the checks and safeguards our system can provide. The Grits are unlikely to be as nasty or vindictive as our current government, but the Tories will have few friends on the benches beside them.

    This is just not smart.

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  38. Possible examples could be practices and procedures when capturing and questioning detainees.
    One of the items the CF like to keep quiet is the names of detainees. They like to keep the Taliban in the dark about who got killed, who was captured, and who simply deserted, to make it harder for the Taliban to determine the effectiveness of their tactics and recruitment.

    But trying to hang your case on Ujjal Dosanjh is pretty weak. He shouldn't have tweeted anything in a closed meeting, but his error in judgment was not tweeting classified information, it was tweeting about the politics of the situation.

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  39. Hi Liberal Supporter, I didn't just name Ujjal, I named Maxime Bernier too.

    Or how about Lisa Raitt ?

    Releasing all this information to every MP and senator is just too dangerous.

    Accidents happen, the more people that though the higher the risk of an accident.

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  40. Hi Volkov, well Harper has basically done what the Liberals requested.

    Unlike the NDP/BQ who were calling for all the info to be provided, uncensored and unredacted the motion Derek Lee put forward asks that the speaker go through the information and rule on it.

    Or the other option the Liberals were offering was a judicial inquiry.

    Basically they agreed with the government's position that documents can't simply be handed over but they wanted some sort of oversight mechanism, be it a judge or the speaker, to make sure that the Tories weren't abusing their ability to redact information.

    I've always agreed with that notion.

    And now that a judge has been appointed to look through this information we can all move on with our lives.

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  41. Releasing all this information to every MP and senator is just too dangerous.
    Who wants to release it to every MP and Senator?

    But it gave me a laugh, because it reminds me of the Bizarre Absolute Guy:
    Dilbert: We should add this feature to our product to make it more useful.
    "Bizarre Absolute" Guy: "Are you telling me that not one person on earth will use our product without that feature?!!"
    Dilbert: "You just changed what I said into a bizarre absolute."
    "BA" Guy: "Oh, I change everything you say?!"

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  42. Liberal Supporter that's how the law works.

    If we're to believe Liberals like Errol Mendes that parliament's subpeona rights are unlimited and cannot be constrained even by laws parliament itself has passed then an individual MP would have just as much right to know as any other.

    That's privilege, either everyone has it or they don't.

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  43. Liberal Supporter that's how the law works.
    Thank you for your assertion.

    If we're to believe Liberals like Errol Mendes that parliament's subpeona rights are unlimited and cannot be constrained even by laws parliament itself has passed then an individual MP would have just as much right to know as any other.
    I'm glad I dug up that Bizarre Absolute Guy stuff, because you just did it again. Parliament, by a majority vote, has demanded documents be released to a committee. You are now trying to make it sound like an individual MP could demand documents as well. But that would be making it a Bizarre Absolute, no?

    That's privilege, either everyone has it or they don't.
    Your assertion does not make that so. Parliament can make laws. Individual MPs cannot.

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  44. Liberal supporter you do realize there is a difference between making a law and passing a motion right ?

    I'm guessing that was just sloppy reasoning because you're smarter then that.

    But yes, individual MPs cannot issue a subpeona without the backing of a majority of the house.

    But that's not the issue since we're discussing what happens AFTER a motion like Derek Lee's is passed.

    And after a motion such as that had passed there are steps ANY MP whatsoever could take to get at that information.

    So yes, in effect, the choice is between releasing the information to all MPs or accepting that it is possible to construct legal limits to what parliament may know.

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  45. Shadow:

    "I'm glad Harper is being a grown up and protecting national security on the afghan documents.
    "

    Quite bluntly and clearly he is doing nothing of the kind!! This is obfuscation, delay, stall, hide, and run of the most crass kind.

    Parliament has the Right to see these documents without delay, in camera if need be for some, but without DELAY!!

    This is NOTHING to do with Canadian forces or "support the military" This is about the Right Of Parliament to be the Supreme power in the land !!

    Stop with the "Talking Points" spin!! You're smarter than that !!

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  46. Shadow said:
    "If we're to believe Liberals like Errol Mendes that parliament's subpeona rights are unlimited and cannot be constrained even by laws parliament itself has passed then an individual MP would have just as much right to know as any other.

    That's privilege, either everyone has it or they don't."

    Congratulations !! You finally got it. Took long enough !

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  47. Peter i'm glad we're in agreement and both of us are in disagreement with Liberal Supporter.

    Either all 308 MPs and 100+ senators would potentially have the complete and unfettered acsess to everything CSIS and the military knows or it is possible to construct legal limits around what parliamentarians can know.

    You seem to welcome a completely open and transparent executive.

    Frankly i'm terrified by the notion.

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  48. Peter i'm glad we're in agreement and both of us are in disagreement with Liberal Supporter.
    No, I don't think Peter agrees with you, Bizarre Absolute Guy.

    Either all 308 MPs and 100+ senators would potentially have the complete and unfettered acsess to everything CSIS and the military knows or it is possible to construct legal limits around what parliamentarians can know.
    No, B.A.G., a majority of Parliament must vote to demand whatever documents they want. And there is no quarrel with only showing these documents in camera, or to people who have signed security agreements, or otherwise requiring some security clearance. Your either-or case is a Bizarre Absolute.

    You seem to welcome a completely open and transparent executive.
    I do too, unless of course, it is taken to the Bizarre Absolute extreme. For example, complete openness and transparency still allows you to go to the bathroom in private. And it allows you to require certain details to be revealed only in a closed meeting and to require security agreements to be in place.

    Frankly i'm terrified by the notion.
    Not surprising, the way you are framing it. However, it is even more terrifying if our elected Parliament cannot demand to know details of what the government is doing.

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  49. So much for the "Canadians don't care about proroguing Parliament" or "there will be an Olympic bounce for Canada's New Government (TM)" meme the Selfservatives have been repeating.

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  50. The thought of a Stephen Harper
    majority government, is something that really terrifies me.

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  51. Um no Liberal Supporter.

    Under the Errol Mendes reading of the law the executive cannot place any condition such as security clearance or agreements on the release of documents.

    Parliament is supreme remember ?

    There are no negotiations or conditions. Its what parliament wants no if ands or buts.

    Either it gets released to the committee or it doesn't.


    The bizzaro absolute is the law under the reading your suggesting.

    If you're uncomfortable with the implications of such a reading then tough.

    The supremacy of parliament cannot be infringed upon for something so minor as worries about national security.

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  52. There was a precedent of sorts set when Chretien was PM (I think it was him). The opposition wanted to subpoena the cabinet minutes. The SOC ruled that those documents are not subject to scrutiny by Parliament because it would impede freedom of action by the cabinet. Surely if cabinet minutes are sacrosanct then so are matters of national security.

    Peter if it comes down to it, this is something the opposition, if they truly believe in their position should be prepared to fight an election on. I doubt frankly that the LPC would allow a motion calling for unrestricted access to these documents to pass. The LPC knows that the tables will be turned at some point and that they'll be charged with protecting the nation's security.

    Good luck Peter. It is not going to happen.

    Cheers,

    Earl

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  53. Shadow:
    "Frankly i'm terrified by the notion.
    Not surprising, the way you are framing it"

    Liberal Supporter is correct. They have the right to know. This, and I repeat, is NOT about the troops or the National Security shit. This is about Who or What is Supreme. In our case it is Parliament.

    Do you get that ?

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  54. Earl:
    "Surely if cabinet minutes are sacrosanct then so are matters of national security.

    Peter if it comes down to it, this is something the opposition, if they truly believe in their position should be prepared to fight an election on."

    Part 1:
    No they are NOT. National Security Act does NOT have the necessary clause preventing Parliament!!

    Part 2:
    Hold onto your hat! If Lee does move his motion Harper is prevented from declaring "Confidence" ! Thus he would have to go for dissolution to have an election. Does he have the balls ??

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  55. Shadow: Under the Errol Mendes reading of the law the executive cannot place any condition such as security clearance or agreements on the release of documents.

    This may or may not be true, but it's irrelevant. Parliament has the right to decide how the documents will be handled. Not any individual MP commentators may choose to vilify; Parliament, as an institution.

    The bizzaro absolute is the law under the reading your suggesting.

    I'd say liberal supporter has the better understanding of the situation.

    Oh, and if Parliament decides to appoint Frank Iacobucci to review the documents, everything is tickety-boo. But Stephen Harper doesn't get to make that call.

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  56. A cover up ?

    I'd fully support one.


    If the documents showed that Canadians were complicit in war crimes and broke international law say by helping the CIA use Afghan prisons to interrogate suspected Taliban I think witholding that information until we leave in 2011 is the right thing to do.

    Otherwise it'll antagonize the Afghans and it'll become a national past time for villagers to try and kill a canuck.

    Anyways I don't even know why we're talking about this.

    For the sake of the soldiers this shouldn't even be discussed until 2011.

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  57. I believe folks Shadow just presented us with a STRAW MAN
    argument.

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  58. Peter:

    Why can't Harper attach confidence to to Lee's motion?

    If cabinet minutes, certainly government documents, are not subject to parliamentary scrutiny then why should documents pertaining to national security be? There is no legislation, only tradition in regard to cabinet minutes. You fail to address this issue.

    If Harper is unable to attach confidence formally to Lee's motion he can do so informally simply by declaring that he will not obey the motion and instead will seek dissolution. Perfectly acceptable reason to call an election and one I suspect he would relish.

    Nor did you address the issue of the passage of Lee's motion. Do you really think the Libs will let it pass? I don't!

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  59. Parliament's Overseers:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/commentary/oops-ottawas-mistake-of-grand-proportions/article1487730/

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  60. Lee is not going to move his motion. The Libs have accepted the compromise. The NDP is still barking but then they don't have to worry about forming a government and actually protecting national security.

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  61. Evening Earl,

    Where did you hear that.

    Yes wouldn't it be nice if we could all be as irresponsible as the NDP

    Quick question for you Earl

    If Ignatieff had said the Liberals would not support the budget, how long would it have taken for the NDP to fold.

    They did it pretty darn quick last fall.

    I know I asked this yesterday, but what is your opinion?

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  62. If the Liberals are so certain that the NDP would support the budget if they had to in order to avoid an election - why don't the Liberals announce that they are voting against the budget and make either the NDP or the BQ be the ones to support the budget?

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  63. Earl,

    I just ask that because one of our NDP posters suggested the Liberals have no intestinal fortitude.

    Nice to know that you can bitch and complain about everything constantly, and know your actions have no consequences.

    Liberals always have to be the grown ups in the minority parliament.

    Sorry just defending my party, from what I feel are baseless accusations.

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  64. Hi 49 steps, i'll chime in to defend the NDP.

    Odds are if Ignatieff had announced he was planning to have his entire caucus vote against the budget we'd see either:

    A) An election
    B) Some Liberals getting the flu to avoid an election

    The reason the NDP propped up the gov't last fall was because they had suspended all their fundraising to prepare for provincial campaigns.

    Now that they are back up to full fundraising they would be willing to go to an election at any point.

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  65. Ok so this is pretty explosive.

    Starting under the previous Liberal gov't JTF2 alledgly partnered with Afghans to have high value detainees tortured to extract information from them.

    This fits the pattern of extraordinary rendition and Mahar Arar we've seen from the Liberals at the time.

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/03/05/afghan-attaran005.html

    So why is Harper covering up for the Liberals ??

    Because its the right thing to do!

    If any of this got out now it would be open season on the men and women fighting over there.

    Thank God Harper is going to sit on these documents until summer of 2011 when everyone is safe and back at home.

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  66. Hi Earl,

    You are more bullish on the NDP, than I am.

    They would have still folded like a cheap suit, if they knew the Liberals would vote against the budget.

    They know they can howl at the moon, because there is never any consequences for their actions.

    They are an irresponsible party with not much sensible to say.

    I am so tired of their old and tired rhetoric.

    Tax anything that moves.

    Make those evil corporations and banks pay.

    Do they ever realize, who makes the jobs in this country.

    Their inane policies would drive away business and investment in this country.

    Quite a few "average joes" have some money invested in mutual funds, which include those dreaded bank and oil company shares.

    Their rhetoric is frankly becoming useless, to the average canadian voter.

    I would have a little more respect for them if they would at least try and move into the 21st century.

    I know I am a liberal. I am not a socialist, who believes the government should control and own everythig.

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  67. 49

    Holy Shit !!!

    http://tinyurl.com/ykry68u

    ReplyDelete
  68. 49

    If this report on CBC is correct then Harper & Co. are in real big doodoo!!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Peter,

    for covering up Liberal policy to protect Canadian troops and our international reputation?

    Some things are better left alone.

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  70. Shadow:
    "for covering up Liberal policy to protect Canadian troops and our international reputation?

    Some things are better left alone."

    Yes it would have been far better to have the documents released than this stupid blocking action.

    As to Liberal policies remember they only turned them over to the Afghans for about the last 3-4 months they were in power. Previous to that they were turned over to the Americans.

    So all this Canadian interest in torture info took place under the Harper Govt. Sorry bout that but "talking points" and "spin" don't work with me. Facts do !

    ReplyDelete
  71. "Starting under the previous Liberal gov't JTF2 alledgly partnered with Afghans to have high value detainees tortured to extract information from them.

    This fits the pattern of extraordinary rendition and Mahar Arar we've seen from the Liberals at the time. "

    Liberal, Tory same old story...

    ReplyDelete
  72. Peter any policy would have been worked out prior to when transfers began.

    So this is very clearly a Liberal initiative.

    What we do know is that when this information worked its way up to the Canada's New Government (which takes time) they put a stop to it.

    Since the problem has ended what's the point in dredging it back up again ??

    It'll only harm the troops.

    ReplyDelete
  73. 49 Steps:

    Yes I think that either the Bloc or the NDP would support the government should the Liberals decide to vote against the government. The election will come when it favours the opposition or the government. Right now it favours neither unless the opposition makes the mistake of grandstanding over the Afghan detainee issue.

    ReplyDelete
  74. "Peter any policy would have been worked out prior to when transfers began"

    And guess by who? General Scumbag Hillier ! He was instructed by Martin to get an agreement with the Aftghans after the Abu Ghraib scandal broke. He did and Martin signed off on it.

    Two months later Martin was defeated. It takes another 18 months before any action is taken on Colvin's and others reports. You guys can't accept that the CRAP are the culprits not the military!!

    Why don't you stop LYING??

    ReplyDelete
  75. Shadow the link you posted to the CBC article doesn't reference the time frame or the liberals. Why do you think this trouble is for the liberals. You're more knowledgeable than I as to the technical details, so please explain.

    This kind of noise by the CBC has put our troops in danger. It has given the Taliban a propaganda tool to work with. This is what we should have been avoiding.

    Again let me make it clear that I do not condone the torture of Taliban prisons. It's wrong.

    Regards, Earl

    ReplyDelete
  76. I'm not so sure about that. If the polls are correct an election now would (from a Liberal perspective) at worst mean a reduced Tory plurality - in which case the Liberals could easily get the NDP and the BQ to agree to let it be known that they would refuse to support a new Harper gov't - and then Iggy becomes PM - or at best the Liberals could nose ahead of the Tories and be the largest party in which case Harper would probably resign immediately.

    I don't think the polling big picture is going to change drastically any time soon. Unless something cataclysmic happens - the polls are never going to suddenly show a Liberal majority government looming. If we are supposed to wait until Iggy thinks he is 100% certain to win a majority - then I'm afraid that the next election won't be until October 2012!

    BTW, Eric, when are you planning to do a new projection since the current one from Feb. 22?

    ReplyDelete
  77. Peter. You never did answer my questions from lat night. I's still appreciate an answer. I would like to know what I'm missing. I'm presuming in the post which was made that Lee's motion was going to go ahead, so now we are talking about a hypothetical situation.

    Thanks, Earl

    "Why can't Harper attach confidence to to Lee's motion?

    If cabinet minutes, certainly government documents, are not subject to parliamentary scrutiny then why should documents pertaining to national security be? There is no legislation, only tradition in regard to cabinet minutes. You fail to address this issue.

    If Harper is unable to attach confidence formally to Lee's motion he can do so informally simply by declaring that he will not obey the motion and instead will seek dissolution. Perfectly acceptable reason to call an election and one I suspect he would relish.

    Nor did you address the issue of the passage of Lee's motion. Do you really think the Libs will let it pass? I don't!"

    ReplyDelete
  78. DL I think that it is your kind of thinking that will lift the Tories in an election. Many people don't want the NDP in government either through an accord or coalition and they certainly don't want the Bloc involved. Harper will bludgeon the opposition with that in the campaign. I personally believe that will be worth a few points at the very least.

    Secondly I don't think the Liberals or the NDP will wait for a LPC majority. For the NDP they'd like a healthy leader and polls showing they're not going to lose seats and the Liberals want to have a good chance of forming a government. That means if the Liberals can poll in the 33 -35% range and the NDP polls where it did in the last election then Harper is likely in for an election, unless the Bloc has reason to support the government. When it only takes one of three parties to side with the government it makes it more difficult to defeat the government. Most politicians are tacticians and they don't want an election when it will hurt their chances. Their goals are, I'm afraid, different from yours which is the removal of Harper.

    Good fortune,

    Earl

    ReplyDelete
  79. We have all been through enough election campaigns to know that much depends on the campaign itself. I remember Nov. 2005 when Paul Martin engineered his own defeat because all the polls at the time said that the Liberals had a good chance of regaining their majority! But the Liberals ran a ridiculously bad campaign and Harper became PM.

    I suspect that the opposition parties are basing their interest in an election less on what polls are saying this week or next week than they are on their own internal readiness etc...I'm just saying that if we are supposed to wait until ALL the polls show a virtually certainty of a Liberal majority government before Iggy decides to shit or get off the pot - we won't have an election until October 2012.

    I honestly don't think anyone apart from a few crackpot Tory bloggers gives a hoot about a future minority government making some policy concessions to the NDP - it didn't bother people when Trudeau did in 1972. It didn't bother when Pearson did it in the 60s, it didn't bother people when Peterson did it in 1985 and it didn't bother people when Martin did it to pass his budget in 2005. The only people it bothers are partisan Tories who know that if the Liberals and NDP cooperate in any way - it means death to Harper.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Earl:

    "Peter. You never did answer my questions from lat night. I's still appreciate an answer. I would like to know what I'm missing. I'm presuming in the post which was made that Lee's motion was going to go ahead, so now we are talking about a hypothetical situation."

    Sorry I don't get on here often enough to keep up as I should.

    If you are referring the Lee's motion and "confidence" the motion includes a clause that it is NOT a confidence motion. Since motions can't be amended that rules oot Harper declaring it is a confidence vote.

    Re your comment re dissolution. Yes I can see Harper doing that rather than respecting the will of the house. Remember also that this is the second motion the first of which passed with a majority. Why Iggy is waffling I can't understand.

    ReplyDelete
  81. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  82. DL it bothered people in a big way in 2008 when the coalition was formed. It bothered people in September of 2009 when Iggy huffed and puffed and Harper raised the specter of the coalition. Tory numbers both times went up, way up! I'm not talking about a huge swing to the CPC, just some Liberals on the right and right leaning undecideds who may not like Harper but consider him the lesser of two evils. I think you view the NDP and it acceptance by the 80% or so of Canadians who don't vote for it through rose coloured glasses. Look at 49 Steps reaction to the NDP. There's someone whose said he'd always vote Liberal no matter the leader yet he has no use for the NDP. Finally there is a needed link with the Bloc - separatists in an election campaign. You are letting your hate for Harper colour your thinking me thinks. JMHO. In any event I enjoy our exchange of ideas.

    Good fortune,

    Earl

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  83. Peter thanks for the clarifications.

    I think we know now why Iggy is backing away. The Liberals are up to necks in this mess. Maybe more than the Conservatives.

    Thanks again,

    Earl

    ReplyDelete
  84. Hi Earl i'll just qualify by saying this is extremely speculative, like anything from the internet. But he's what i've read from various commentary, some of it may be true some of it might not be i'll have to do some digging.

    Apparently the lawyer in question first made noises about this in 2007 and had been fishing around for documents from the 2002-2006 period.

    Most of the military and CSIS policies were formulated after sept 11th with a high degree of input from the Americans.

    I think we need a complete and honest debate about civil liberties, rendition, and what interrogation techniques count as torture.

    But what we saw from the Abu Ghraib scandal was a huge spike in violence, increased enemy recruiting, and a particularily nasty period of American deaths.

    This really, really should wait until 2011 when everyone is back on Canadian soil.


    PS - Another interesting rumour, apparently the lawyer in question is a personal friend of Michael Ignatieff's from his academic days.

    Funny that the CBC would suddenly recycle old allegations at the very moment Derek Lee is trying to build support for his motion isn't it ??

    Sounds like favours are being called in...

    ReplyDelete
  85. Earl I also wouldn't be too sure about Iggy backing away from this.

    He's already called for an inquiry into the period when the LIBERALS were in charge.

    He doesn't have any loyalties to anyone but himself. And he certainly doesn't mind throwing past Liberals under the bus.

    I'm guessing he figures the cover up will be percieved as worse then the damage to the Liberal brand.

    And he just might be right.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Peter you didn't answer this for me:

    "If cabinet minutes, certainly government documents, are not subject to parliamentary scrutiny then why should documents pertaining to national security be? There is no legislation, only tradition in regard to cabinet minutes. You fail to address this issue."

    This the most crucial item IMO.

    Thanks,

    Earl

    ReplyDelete
  87. Well I think the cat is out of the bag.

    The conservatives have lost control over the documents.

    Only a matter of time, before we know all.

    Earl,

    You summed it up right, on my thoughts on the NDP

    I want the Liberals to stand on their own.

    Philosophically, they are socialists.

    They do not believe in the free market, and pretty much want government control of just about everything.

    When they can stop their class warfare nonsense, and tired old socialist rhetoric, maybe I will give them a look.

    ReplyDelete
  88. "They" in my statement would be the NDP

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  89. Shadow I continue think it would be a pox on both their houses if the Libs are implicated in torture and Tories are also linked. I don't think trying to keep that information secret to protect the troops would hurt the Conservatives. If the issue gains traction and both governments are implicated then I think the NDP and Bloc make gains. Not a pretty picture.

    More likely I think the discussion quickly shifts to economy or efforts to protect the troops. Both are losing issues IMO for the LPC right now.

    Good fortune,

    Earl

    ReplyDelete
  90. 49 Steps:

    Do you think Iggy will fight an election on the issue, if as it seems the Liberals are implicated in the scandal?

    Thanks,

    Earl

    ReplyDelete
  91. Well Earl and 49 Steps - I don't blame you for wanting to go back to the good old days of Liberal dictatorship when you had a succession of majority governments in the 90s and early 00s and you showed that Liberals are every bit as dictatorial and disrespectful of parliament as Harper is. Of course, Liberals would RATHER have a Liberal majority government than have to compromise with other parties on anything. I would rather have an NDP majority government and not have to futz around with the other parties as well.

    But alas in life, you don't always get what you want. Right now the odds of the Liberals being able to win a majority in the next election are close to zilch - any way you slice it - if the Liberals return to power it WILL involve some compromise with other parties.

    If after the next election, the choice for Iggy is Door Number 1: a Liberal government in exchange for some policy concessions to the NDP - most of which will involve forcing the Liberals to actually follow through on their own promises OR Door number 2: The Liberals prop up Harper again in exchange for nothing and Iggy is forced to quit as leader in disgrace - which door do you think Iggy picks? and which door do you think about 99% of people who voted Liberal would want him to pick?

    ReplyDelete
  92. Earl,

    The liberals have already said that they don't mind an inquiry looking at how prisoner transfers were handled from the start of the mission in Afghanistan.

    This is just my uneducated guess

    If there was something in those documents to implicate the Liberals
    the conservatives would only be too happy to let that leak out.

    Harper seems to be fighting pretty darn hard, to keep those documents under lock and key.

    Why?

    It has nothing to do with national security.

    All about the conservatives trying to protect their posterior.

    ReplyDelete
  93. http://v1.theglobeandmail.com/cartoon/

    ReplyDelete
  94. Earl:
    "I think we know now why Iggy is backing away. The Liberals are up to necks in this mess. Maybe more than the Conservatives."

    At maximum the Liberals are involved for only about three months. Prior to 2005 we transferred detainees to the Americans. Then the Abu Ghraib scandal blew up and Martin decided we couldn't go on passing them on to the US. So he directed General Scumbag to do an agreement with the Afghans which he did and Martin signed off on it.

    Two months later Martin was defeated and the torch passed to the Tories. Right about this time Colvin and others started sending reports up the chain. The Tories did nothing for 18 months and then struck a new deal with the Afghans.

    So in essence the Liberals are only responsible for a really short time, the real can is hung on the Tories.

    ReplyDelete
  95. ""If cabinet minutes, certainly government documents, are not subject to parliamentary scrutiny then why should documents pertaining to national security be? There is no legislation, only tradition in regard to cabinet minutes. You fail to address this issue."

    This the most crucial item IMO."

    Cabinet documents are by tradition and to a certain extent by law deemed private and not subject to Parliamentary scrutiny. You would probably have to dig back into Westminster to find out how, why and when this started.

    "National Security" comes under laws passed by the House and thus are open to House scrutiny. There is no disclaimer clause.

    ReplyDelete
  96. DL

    In the event of a liberal minority government, I do not mind co-operation with the NDP.

    However I do not wan't a formal coalition with the NDP.

    I find NDP economic policy assinine, and would be downright disasterous for Canada, in the unlikely event it ever had a chance of being implemented.

    Do you ever start to wonder to yourself why after all it's time in existence the NDP has never even been the Official Opposition.

    When people get tired of the conservatives the liberals will be the defacto choice.

    The liberals are a larger party, and have governed Canada.

    For all your howling at the moon, that is not going to change.

    As for all your prognostications, hold on a minute there big boy.

    A week is a lifetime in politics.

    ReplyDelete
  97. 49

    "In the event of a liberal minority government, I do not mind co-operation with the NDP."

    If memory serves the Liberals have done this in the past. Specifically Lester Pearson supported by Tommy Douglas.

    From which came National Health Care. Thus it has been productive in the past and I expect will in the future.

    Plus don't downplay the Bloc. They didn't exist in Pearson's time but now do have significant clout and can be expected to support the more left leaning Liberals than the right CRAP !!

    Actually we've had good government from this kind of Liberal-NDP arrangement.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Peter you still haven't answered a crucial question.

    Despite the fact that the Liberals were booted from office, why are they not responsible for the plan THEY CREATED and THEY PUT IN MOTION.

    You can argue that the Conservatives were too slow in cleaning up the Liberal mess.


    But never forget who made the mess in the first place.

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  99. Shadow:
    "Despite the fact that the Liberals were booted from office, why are they not responsible for the plan THEY CREATED and THEY PUT IN MOTION."

    As soon as the Liberals where defeated and the Tories took over they became responsible for the "mess".

    I know you want to put all the blame on the Liberals but just like when a company changes hands the new owners OWN all the problems!! Like it or lump it !

    ReplyDelete
  100. {"National Security" comes under laws passed by the House and thus are open to House scrutiny. There is no disclaimer clause.}

    Peter that's part of my point. If you can answer without treating me like a moron could you explain how a motion passed by the house that is contrary to its own laws can be legally enforced. If Parliament passed a law exempting the Afghan detainee documents from pertinent law then I can understand how they would be then made available. I'm asking because I don't understand how you think this works. Isn't Parliament subject to the laws it passes until those laws are amended or repealed. That is my understanding. That seems to be what you are saying in your quote.

    The issue of whether or not the documents in question are in fact matters of national security would I expect be determined in the usual manner. I simply can't see that because a government is in a minority position it can be required to hand over documents that are genuinely a matter of national security.

    If we can presume for academic purposes only that these documents are matters of national security then shouldn't they be protected from Parliament?

    ReplyDelete
  101. Earl:

    Nice try ! Not correct
    "Isn't Parliament subject to the laws it passes until those laws are amended or repealed."

    No IT IS NOT !! Parliament is SUPREME. Understand?

    What we mere mortals can do is one thing. What Parliament can do is totally different. Get this through your head. Unless there is a specific clause in a particular piece of legislation exempting it from Parliamentary review Parliament can look at any and all documents and other evidence.

    I can't believe you don't understand and have put your incessant infantile questioning down to the fact that you are a Tory supporter and as such significantly brainwashed !!

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  102. Peter I'm asking simply because it doesn't make ANY sense to me. I'm interested in it now only in an academic sense. What ever will happen will happen. If you can EXPLAIN it to me other than telling how dumb I am and that Parliament is supreme I'd be grateful. I'm not trying to pick and argument.

    Thanks,

    Earl

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  103. 49

    As I watched a re-run of At Issue it came to me that things may not be as bad as we have been led to believe?

    The Tories essentially have a platform, a program, however you want to describe it.

    The Liberals don't at this point.

    Yet the two are very close to a tie in all these polls,

    So what happens if this thinkers conference this month comes out with things the public likes?

    Get my drift ? The current situation could change drastically !!

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  104. "If you can EXPLAIN it to me other than telling how dumb I am and that Parliament is supreme I'd be grateful. I'm not trying to pick and argument."

    You have answered your own question. Haven't you ?

    Parliament triumphs ALL !

    ReplyDelete
  105. Peter here's what I've found:

    Supremacy of Parliament and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms


    Claude Bélanger,
    Department of History,
    Marianopolis College

    "Supremacy of Parliament was one of the main characteristics of the British constitution applicable to Canada. Parliament was deemed to have sovereign and uncontrollable authority in the making, amending and repealing of laws. Nothing was beyond its capacity to legislate upon. Parliament was the place where absolute legislative power resided. It could do everything that is not naturally impossible. Strictly speaking, in a country of supremacy of Parliament, Parliament cannot issue an unconstitutional law since there are no bounds to its authority."

    http://faculty.marianopolis.edu/c.belanger/QuebecHistory/federal/parl.htm

    There is nothing in that to indicate that I am wrong. Parliament has to make , amend or repeal legislation.

    See also:

    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/supremacy_of_parliament.htm

    http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/Supremacy+of+Parliament

    http://www.law.ualberta.ca/centres/ccs/keywords/?id=61

    Thanks,

    Earl

    ReplyDelete
  106. Peter:

    Yes Parliament trumps all in that is has the right to make laws, repeal laws and amend laws. Lee's motion I don't believe does any of those things. That's where I'm having trouble.

    Cheers,

    Earl

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  107. No Peter Parliament doesn't trump itself. What you are telling us is that Parliament can ignore the laws it has passed. I'm saying it has to follow those laws or change them and that is what everything I'm reading says as well. Anything else would be pure fiction.

    Cheers, Earl

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  108. Peter having looked up what a point of order is I can see why Lee hasn't moved it. It would simply refer the matter to the Speaker of the House of Commons. He would as I read the constitution have to rule in the government's favour. Parliament can not break its own laws. It has to amend or repeal them. That's the way Parliament works.

    Cheers,
    Earl

    I sure wish I hadn't thrown our my copy Democracy in Canada by R. Macgregor Dawson. I took Canadian politics from his son W.F. Dawson at UWO.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Earl,

    Commendations on your civil behaviour under duress.

    Parliament has the right to demand government documents it requires to perform its duties. (Sorry, I don't have a reference offhand.) As has been pointed out earlier, PMO documents are a recognized special case. However, the nebulous "national security" catch-all isn't. The reasons for this have been amply demonstrated far too many times in recent years.

    A point of order isn't concerned with legislation; it's concerned with the way that Parliament (or any assembly) does its business. As such, it always has priority. (There's no point in passing a law then deciding it's invalid because it wasn't passed correctly.) Lee's motion is intended to force the government to do what it must do by law. If the government still refuses to budge, the Sergeant at Arms would do its work for it.

    There's no law that says a government can withold information from Parliament (not individual MPs, but Parliament). As such, Parliament doesn't have to trump itself here. It could, by passing an explicit law, but that point is entirely moot. It doesn't need to.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Parliament was deemed to have sovereign and uncontrollable authority in the making, amending and repealing of laws

    There is your answer.

    Go check Westminster !

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  111. Yes Parliament trumps all in that is has the right to make laws, repeal laws and amend laws. Lee's motion I don't believe does any of those things. That's where I'm having trouble.

    There is your error. Le's motion does. Sorry but that's the end.

    ReplyDelete
  112. John:

    I'm not in agreement that nation security as defined by law wouldn't prevent the release of these documents. In any event the speaker must rule on the point of order:

    "point of order
    (rappel au Règlement)
    A question raised by a Member with respect to any departure from the Standing Orders or customary procedures, either in debate or in the conduct of House or committee business. Points of order are decided by the Speaker whose decision is final, or, in committee, by the chair, whose decision may be appealed to the committee."

    http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/process/house/glossary/glossary-e.htm#sectP

    John id something is secret under the law or is classified as secret under an existing law would that not prevent Parliament from demanding it be made public.

    I realize the issue of what qualifies as secret is a very separate issue.

    Thanks,

    Earl

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  113. Earl:

    From John:
    Parliament has the right to demand government documents it requires to perform its duties. (Sorry, I don't have a reference offhand.) As has been pointed out earlier, PMO documents are a recognized special case. However, the nebulous "national security" catch-all isn't. The reasons for this have been amply demonstrated far too many times in recent years."

    I couldn't have put it any clearer. Thanks John

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  114. I put great faith in Napoleon's dictum, "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence." In past I've always assumed that the government has been stonewalling simply because that's what they do; they don't know how to concede a minor point, defuse the issue and move on. I've commented in past that they could have reduced the discussion to an honest question of speed of execution and sucked the oxygen out of the whole debate.

    They've wedged so firmly on the detainee documents that I'm beginning to have second thoughts. There's an awful lot of smokescreen and I'm beginning to suspect some smouldering pants.

    If there's nothing there, Harper needs to move quickly to demonstrate the fact by releasing the documents. He can negotiate (but not dictate) the terms.

    If he doesn't, I'm beginning to worry about ordering election signs pronto. Because there may be some very large worms in that can. Large enough for Iggy, Jack and Gilles to take to the polls.

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  115. Peter you are saying a subpoena amends, makes, or repeals a law? How so? Do you have the wording. My bet is the the speaker will rule the motion out of order.

    I'm strictly into procedure here. I think you're dead wrong. Forget the politics, I think Lee's point of order is out of order and that the Speaker will so rule.

    Cheers,

    Earl

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  116. Earl: John if something is secret under the law or is classified as secret under an existing law would that not prevent Parliament from demanding it be made public.

    Perhaps, but the point is moot. Nobody is asking that the documents be made public. The opposition wants them released to committee.

    Again, MPs are reasonable people. I'm sure the opposition is willing to negotiate who gets what and under what safeguards. The key word there is "negotiate". Harper isn't even offering to do so; he's attempting to dictate.

    This is why bringing in Mr. Justice Iacobucci is so unsettling. The man himself is beyond reproach and would do an excellent job. If he were appointed by Parliament I would applaud. But the Prime Minister cannot arrogate Parliament's authority by appointing him. Not in this country. Not yet.

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  117. John I think Conservatives would be more than happy to fight the Coalition on this issue in an election if it comes to that. Harper has offered an olive branch. If the opposition fails to take take they will reap the whirlwind.

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  118. Earl: John I think Conservatives would be more than happy to fight the Coalition on this issue in an election if it comes to that.

    Lee has put some clever text into his draft saying it's not a confidence motion. My assumption is that the documents in question would therefore come out before an election could be engineered on other grounds.

    If there's nothing in the documents, they won't be an election issue for anyone. ("Vote Conservative because we didn't commit war crimes after all!" Um, nope.) If there's something much nastier than I've believed in past, four parties will be only too glad to run on this matter.

    Harper has offered an olive branch.

    I respectfully disagree. If he had recognized the supremacy of Parliament by requesting its approval of this solution, that would be an olive branch. He hasn't, though. The democratic deficit has been growing as fast as the fiscal deficit.

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  119. Earl
    "I'm strictly into procedure here. I think you're dead wrong. Forget the politics, I think Lee's point of order is out of order and that the Speaker will so rule."

    You are forgetting something here. Before Christmas an almost identical motion was passed by the House. It's LAW

    Stop trying to weasel . Harper & Co are in the wrong, plain and simple!!

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  120. John:
    "I respectfully disagree. If he had recognized the supremacy of Parliament by requesting its approval of this solution, that would be an olive branch. He hasn't, though. The democratic deficit has been growing as fast as the fiscal deficit."

    I completely agree and if that report on the CBC website is correct Harper has some big questions to answer !

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  121. Peter you are a rude arrogant man. I've tried to engage you on procedure only. You provided what you think the right answer to be with no facts or explanation that makes any sense to me. My bad for trying to engage you in polite conservation. You sir are blinded and enraged by your hatred and rage!

    Cheers,

    Earl

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  122. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  123. John three points:

    The speaker has to accept the point of privilege. I doubt that will happen.

    If accepted it has to be passed by the house. Again I don't think the Liberals who will one day be the government will want that kind of precedent set. The motion will fail.

    Should I be wrong on the first count were I Harper, I would publicly announce that I would treat the point of order as a matter of confidence, regardless of what the point of order says. If it did pass I would then call an election and campaign against the Coalition and its attack on national security. I think that would play well.

    Cheers, Earl

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  124. Earl,

    I must respectfully disagree with you.

    It is not an issue of national security at all.

    It is an issue of Parliamentary Supremacy over the executive.

    The conservatives are trying to make this a national security issue.

    If the Mr. Stephen Harper government was not complicit in torture, they would not be fighting so hard to hold onto those documents.

    They would do what parliament has ordered them to do and release them unredacted.

    If it has to be in camera, I am fine with that.

    As for this coalition.

    Sir it is a coalition to you.

    The Liberals, and the NDP are not running as a single entity.

    The liberals I think have learned their lesson, and will not be going down that road.

    Anything will be speeled out to the Canadian people in advance, in order for it to have legitimacy, with the public. (IMHO)

    Do you really think Harper wants to go into an election with the whiff of war crimes whirling about?

    Patriotism, love of country, and support for our military are not the sole domain of the conservative party.

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  125. Earl,

    I think it has been pointed out here many times before, that there is a difference between a formal coalition, and cooperation in the HOC.

    If the Liberals happen to form a minority government, they would naturally have to cooperate with the other parties in order to get things done.

    Isn't that how it should be working?

    I will throw a question out to you though.

    What happens after the next election if the Liberals and the NDP have more seats than the conservatives.

    They decide they have no confidence in the Harper government. Harper needs the BLOC to survive.

    What would be more legitimate in your eyes.

    Liberals trying to form a government with the support of the NDP (Not a formal coalition, just cooperation)

    Or a conservative government in office with the support of the BLOC

    ReplyDelete
  126. 49 Steps:

    Martin at times governed with the support of the Bloc and so has Harper. So long as there are no policy concessions to the Bloc their support is no different than that of any other party. Indeed one party party supports the government one week, another the next.

    You do not know what is in those documents. Let the learned judge decide.

    Finally did it ever occur to you the opposition is being gamed by the CPC. This is an issue on which I think Harper will do well. Further as interest shifts to budget Iggy will have to explain how he will eliminate the budget deficit while spending billions on new programs. The budget will wear well closest to its release. Harper may want an election now on the detainee issue, with the budget he has. Will the opposition play into his hands?

    ReplyDelete
  127. Earl,

    No I do not think the opposition is being gamed by Harper.

    The retired judge has no business looking at the documents, and deciding on what can be released.

    Parliament has already ordered their unredacted release, and Parliamentary Supremacy rules.

    As for that Harper throne speech this week, that was something if you will pardon my French was something you could make use of in the bathroom.

    It's nice to know you hated that 08 coalition so much but are completely comfortable with Harper remaining as PM with the support of the BLOC (if it came to that)

    My question still remains the same

    Harper excoriated the coalition as one of socialists and seoaratists, I believe he even referred to it as an unholy alliance at one point.

    Should he not stand by those vaunted principles of his and state
    "after the next election if the Libs/NDP have more seats than myself and I have to rely on support from the BLOC on confidence motions I will resign"

    As for the finances of the country,
    Mr S. Harper and company spent like drunken sailors before the recession even hit.

    Cutting the GST was not good policy (I know you disagree)

    Let us not forget they came into office with a 13 billion dollar surplus.

    In case you haven't noticed sir Mr. S Harper has been in office for over four years now.

    It is high time he stood up and took some responsibility for things, and stopped trying to push the onus onto the opposition.

    I will put my partisan hat on now and will categorically state that I will put the record of the Chretien/Martin government over that of the Mr S. Harper government, any day of the week.

    ReplyDelete
  128. Hi 49 steps, lets address something you said:

    "Patriotism, love of country, and support for our military are not the sole domain of the conservative party."

    Ok then how about showing some patriotism, how about showing some love of country and support for our military and DROP THIS ISSUE.

    Answer this honestly:

    If there are some nasty surprises in the documents, such as war crimes, do you think it won't ANTAGONIZE THE HELL out of the Afghans, put a giant target on our backs, and result in the death of Canadian soldiers ??

    It did for the Americans when Abu Ghraib was made public.

    Why on earth would you want to disclose this to the public NOW instead of 2011 when our soldiers are home ?


    The only possible reason I see to pursue this now, instead of 2011 when everyone is safe and sound, is that the opposition is putting electoral advantage over the safety of the troops.

    Shamefull. Completely and utterly.

    ReplyDelete
  129. 49
    "Ok then how about showing some patriotism, how about showing some love of country and support for our military and DROP THIS ISSUE.
    "

    So now we know, as we suspected, that all Shadow and Earl are interested in is the continuance of the CRAP in power despite anything they may have done.

    The best option then is that World Court at the Hague investigation.

    In other words further discussion with them is a waste of our time as their brainwashing cannot be overcome.

    ReplyDelete
  130. 49

    Notice how as their position deteriorates Shadow and Earl suddenly resurrect the "Coalition" ??

    Tells me a lot, they are nothing but CRAP Trolls and as such should be dropped from any sensible discussion. All they can do is spew "Talking Points" and attempt to end discussion with "threats" !!

    ReplyDelete
  131. Earl:
    "Peter you are a rude arrogant man. I've tried to engage you on procedure only. You provided what you think the right answer to be"

    First: I've lived long enough to recognise arrogant ignorance and mindset when I run across it. You are very close to being a classic case.

    Secondly: this stuff has been all over the media with clear explanations. You didn't want to look or read obviously as it would have corrupted your pure ideology of "Harper can do NO wrong" !

    Thirdly I suggested you dig around in Westminster's history as almost all our traditions and laws re the House originate there. My guess is you never even Googled Westminster !!

    ReplyDelete
  132. Shadow,

    HOW DARE YOU

    QUESTION MY PATRIOTISM

    YOU SIR ARE NAUSEATING AND UTTERLY DISGUSTING, AND BENEATH CONTEMPT.

    I am sorry if questions about human rights and respect for international law make you feel so bloody uncomfortable.

    Why the hell don't you address the substance of the issue instead of waving the flag in all of our faces all of the time.

    It's so God dam convenient for you isn't it?

    Dare not ask these questions lest you be accused of being unpatriotic by the likes of you.

    Do you have no concern about our good name and international reputation at all?

    The issue is out there whether you like it or not.

    Stop your bloody, idiotic faux concern for our troops.

    THE ONLY THING THAT IS CONCERNING YOU IS WHAT THIS ISSUE WILL DO TO YOU BELOVED CONSERVATIVE PARTY.

    THAT IS YOU ONE AND ONLY CONCERN

    ReplyDelete
  133. Shadow: Why on earth would you want to disclose this to the public NOW instead of 2011 when our soldiers are home ?

    Because it's the moral thing to do. That matters to some people.

    That makes further discussion irrelevant, but any released documents are unlikely to raise the smallest blip on the Afghan radar screen. Remember who is accused of doing what to whom and the context in which it was being done. The risk to our troops won't budge.

    The risk to the government appears to be another matter.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Earl: John three points:

    The speaker has to accept the point of privilege...

    If accepted it has to be passed by the house... The motion will fail.

    ...[W]ere I Harper, I would publicly announce that I would treat the point of order as a matter of confidence,... call an election and campaign against the Coalition and its attack on national security. I think that would play well.


    I'm not a constitutional scholar and you may be right on the first two points, assuming that the motion is in fact put forward. I don't think so, though, because Derek Lee literally wrote the book on the subject.

    You could also be right on the third point. Stephen Harper is a master of attack politics. However, that would be a very dangerous game to play because the opposition, the media and (most importantly) the public are all now wondering what's in the secret box. I think that attack would very quickly shift to defence.

    That may be the lesser of two evils in Harper's mind. If the withheld documents are really that explosive, perhaps trying to keep them hidden is worth any price.

    In the longer run, though, that can only happen if the Conservatives can win a majority in the next election. Anything else will result in a non-coalition Liberal minority after the first confidence vote.

    ReplyDelete
  135. The question of whether "antagonizing the hell" out of the Afghans only after we leave is the honourable thing to do is worth considering.

    Shadow, are you suggesting we keep this quiet, leave Afghanistan, then investigate any wrong-doing and let our allies deal with the consequences of our actions?

    ReplyDelete
  136. Peter I'm anything but a Conservative Troll. I see a lot of good in what Chretien did. I never voted for him but he did some very good things. If Iggy ever comes up with some policies I might vote for him. I'm centre right in my thinking. If you had been here all the time you'd know that I've battled Shadow more than I battled the likes of you.

    Regards,

    Earl.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Good morning Earl,

    Sir, I hope you think I have been respectful to you at all times.

    Shadow,

    I find it more than a little disturbing, that you probably had those knickers of yours in quite the twist over the Liberal advertising scandal.

    That was wrong and I offer no defense for it.

    However, accustions of a government complicit in torture, and commiting war crimes, has you not batting one eyelash.

    I will repeat it again and I stand by it 100%, the health of the conservative party is your one and only concern in life.

    ReplyDelete
  138. 49
    "YOU SIR ARE NAUSEATING AND UTTERLY DISGUSTING, AND BENEATH CONTEMPT."

    Well said and as with your comments re Earl I completely agree.

    ReplyDelete
  139. 49

    And now for the real shocker and the undoubted reason why Harper is being so stubborn.

    http://tinyurl.com/ye3o74e

    ReplyDelete
  140. Hi Peter some fun facts about Liberal Amir Attaran.

    1) He owes Iggy a big favour

    http://bcblue.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/torture-claiming-professor-owed-iffy-huge-debt/

    2) He's a bit of a showboat, having donated money to Dion during the '08 campaign he then wrote an unflattering article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal while pretending to be an objective expert.

    Now he's involved in torture, anything to help the Liberlas I guess.

    http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/columnists/story.html?id=9f230848-bbd6-441e-a8e7-ae7f893e7a87

    3) A secret source was funding his research, creating huge conflict of interest concerns. Ironically Iggy helped with the cover up.

    http://lists.essential.org/pipermail/ip-health/2003-March/004425.html

    ReplyDelete
  141. Shadow:

    "Hi Peter some fun facts about Liberal Amir Attaran."

    All I see there is a string of crap from the extreme right wing.

    Get something from a major paper and I might listen. Until then all you are doing is

    SPEWING !!

    And based on your previous output of bilge deserves as much respect !!!

    ReplyDelete
  142. Hi Eric, like it or not the opposition is going to grapple with the issue of how losing the hearts and minds of the average Afghan will effect troop safety.

    Its not enough to say "I support the troops" or "don't question my patriotism" whenever someone raises a valid concern about their safety.

    So far the reasons i've heard for letting some of our troops die are

    1) Its moral. International laws. War crimes!

    Sorry this doesn't cut it, soldiers keep us safe, they're not sacrificial lambs. A fundemental priniciple of law is that you don't punish the innocent along with the guilty. Letting all the troops suffer for things individuals did three years ago is unnacceptable and unjust.

    2) Our international reputation!

    This is a substantive worry but again soldiers sign up to defend our country not to defend our reputation.

    3) Our allies will be left behind to deal with the consequences of our actions.

    Your point is a good one, especially since we are a member of the NATO alliance.

    I'd just say that everyone in the South will probably be gone by then too.

    Depending on the dutch election they'll probably be gone. Britain doesn't have much stomach left for the fight either.

    As for the Americans they are already tarnished by constant air strikes, being "the great satan", supporting Israel, and Abu Ghraib. It can't get any worse for them.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Shadow: Hi Peter some fun facts about Liberal Amir Attaran.

    Thank you for the interesting links. They show both Ignatieff and Attaran in rather a good light. Shoot-the-messenger always works best when the open end of the firearm faces away from the would-be executioner.

    (By the way, the quote misses a key point. Since Attaran has contributed to two Grits and two Dippers, he's not just a Liberal; he's a socialist Liberal. The right-thinking mind recoils.)

    ReplyDelete
  144. 49 Steps, I've deleted your comment. Let's try to maintain civility here.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Shadow: [L]ike it or not the opposition is going to grapple with the issue of how losing the hearts and minds of the average Afghan will effect troop safety.

    One definition of a dialogue is two monologues. I'll repeat myself once more, then drop the point, because it's clearly not getting through: this is not an issue of troop safety. Whatever may be revealed, it will not affect the hearts-and-minds situation. Not in the Afghan context and not in the Pashtun or other tribal mindset.

    If the Taliban wanted propaganda, they'd have it already from what is looking more and more like a coverup. The way that we defuse this completely is to uphold our moral standards and the Geneva Conventions. They are not "quaint". They are the measure of us as a civilization worth defending.

    We can and must walk the walk.

    ReplyDelete
  146. If we are going to leave Afghanistan, we have to leave with honour. What Shadow is suggesting is dishonourable, plain and simple. We're covering up the truth, or at least appearing to be.

    How are we supposed to win the hearts and minds of the Afghans when we appear to be covering-up our wrong-doing? They already see their own government as corrupt. How will they see the West if we don't deal with this swiftly and harshly?

    Any good done in Afghanistan will be destroyed if this is all revealed only after we leave. There will be no opportunity to repair that tarnished reputation. The Afghans won't remember that last bit of good our soldiers did before they left. They will remember the scandal that is making the news AFTER we leave.

    It does a disservice to our troops, frankly, to put them on the line and then not hold those in government and the higher-ranking officers responsible for wrong-doing after-the-fact. It will only leave the asking what they were fighting for?

    It is all very, very disappointing.

    We should not be telling the Afghans to do as we say, not as we do. We have to show what it is to be a moral state, how to stand up for what is right and fight against what is wrong. Otherwise, the only message we will be giving the Afghan people is that we were covering-our-own-ass rather than trying to help the Afghans.

    If we leave it until 2011, all the good we have done will be squandered.

    I expect more for our troops. What Shadow is suggesting is, well, letting them down.

    ReplyDelete
  147. 49 You've always been civil to me. So have most on the left. Peter is different in that regard. Shadow and I have had our share of run ins. On this issue I happen to agree with Shadow both as regards troop safety and aiding the enemy.

    I also think that because we are so far removed from real war we've forgotten what is involved. Human rights frankly don't exist in real war. The Geneva Convention is there to try and mitigate the ravages of war.

    In WWI, WWII and the Korean War none of this would have been an issue because of censorship. It also wouldn't have been an issue because the public for the most part was behind the government and military in the sense that whatever they had to do to defeat the enemy was okay. We fire bombed Hamburg and Dresden, dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. We totally disregarded the human rights of the civilians in those cities. Our enemies did the same and much worse. At home we interned Canadians who had Japanese heritage. Now we think it was wrong. In time of war you do what has to be done to win because you only fight wars to destroy evil.

    I'm not endorsing Torture!!! I do not approve of torture!!! Torture is wrong!!! However who commits torture is always in the eyes of the winning side.

    Afghanistan is a real war. What we are doing there is real fighting with real Canadian and Afghan lives at stake. IF we did engage in torture by turning over Afghans to be tortured then that was wrong. However we aren't doing it now. The troops in the field don't need to contend with that information. They are actually living WITH the Afghans in their villages trying to both pacify the and protect the village. They don't need Afghans angry at them and taking revenge.

    I'm writing this from a totally non political point of view. I have not mentioned parties nor politicians. I do think we all need to rethink our positions.

    ReplyDelete
  148. And John is right. This won't change anything in terms of the danger our soldiers face. If this stuff is happening, the Afghans are well aware of it. And, what's worse, it is nothing new to them.

    Using language like "open season on Canadians" does not help the discussion.

    ReplyDelete
  149. so, in other news can we get back to talking about polling numbers and Eric, when do you think you'll do a new projection?

    ReplyDelete
  150. When a have the time - probably Monday or Tuesday unless new polls are released.

    ReplyDelete
  151. Much more dirt from the G&M:

    http://tinyurl.com/ycc8pds

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  152. Why are we there:

    http://tinyurl.com/ykojsdq

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  153. Earl: However who commits torture is always in the eyes of the winning side.

    This would not explain the conviction of US Maj. Edwin Glenn in 1902 for waterboarding Philippine insurgents during the Spanish-American war. Sometimes there's just right and wrong.

    Yes, accepted practices in past times are war crimes today. We also no longer segregate soldiers by skin colour and--heavens!--we even have females carrying guns. But we're not fighting in Afghanistan a century ago and we have to uphold today's laws. I've never heard Canadian troops complaining about that; as a group, they have exemplary morals. Why should we hold our leaders to lesser standards than those who have their lives on the line?

    ReplyDelete
  154. Eric this is simply factually wrong:

    "John is right. This won't change anything in terms of the danger our soldiers face."

    We've already seen the reaction to the American prison scandal. Enemy propaganda is constant, it only gains power when its VERIFIED by the American media.

    There was a spike in violence, there was a jump in enemy recruiting, and there were American deaths.


    But back to your new point, which is essentially the moral arguement.

    Using the blood of the average Canadian soldier, turning them into sacrificial lambs, to somehow absolve the policy of some high ranking generals and an elite intelligence unit ??

    That's not justice, that's not honour.

    Our work in Afghanistan doesn't somehow dissapear because of a few bad apples.

    Afghans will judge the success of our mission based on the amount of girls going to school, the dams and roads we build, and the people we keep safe and feed.

    Not some five year old story about a policy that's already been stopped.

    ReplyDelete
  155. John:

    With all due respect I think we have a basic and fundamental difference of opinion. I respect your position. Ideally it would be mine.

    I don't believe we live in an ideal world. I also believe that when all is said and done there will be enough blame to go around to cover both Liberals and Conservatives.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts,

    Earl

    ReplyDelete
  156. Shadow,

    Eric has deleted my earlier comment to you, and has requested me to be civil to you.

    I however hope you saw that comment, because it sums up exactly what I think.

    Your BS is frankly over the top rubbish.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Letting the bad apples get away with things until it is convenient for us is dishonourable and amoral, and gives the Afghans all the reason to continue to believe that the West is no better than the Taliban. They'll just continue with their lives, as they have always done, trying to protect their families and letting the latest invader or government come and go.

    I thought we all agreed that we had higher moral standards, and I hoped we could give them an idea of how things could be better.

    That message will be lost if it is steeped in hypocrisy.

    Our soldiers want to fight for what is right, not for what is easier. I believe that the soldiers have a higher sense of honour than what you are advocating.

    ReplyDelete
  158. Wow Earl the timing of all of this is really suspect.

    Wesley Wark is directly connected to Michael Ignatieff through the Munk Centre for International Studies.

    He's also served as a consultant to the privy council on security matters.

    And now he's heavily quoted in the article you linked to.

    Any guesses as to whether he's the source of the leaked info ??

    Its just so strange that we keep seeing academics directly connected to Iggy being used as impartial experts in articles writen days before Derek Lee's motion is set to be introduced.

    ReplyDelete
  159. Eric have you never heard of a closed trial ? Delays in indictments to gather evidence ?

    Or that war crimes investigations can take decades ?

    Justice doesn't simply dissapear because some time has passed between crime and conviction.

    Ex. Police send an informant to go undercover in a mob ring. Informant gathers evidence of several murders.

    Prosecution holds off laying charges until said informant is SAFELY EXTRACTED.

    Does that delay suddenly mean the victims families are betrayed ? That the entire police force is dishonourable ?

    No, of course not, that's the lamest moral standard in history.

    As I said, justice cannot be about the innocent getting hurt.

    ReplyDelete
  160. Shadow I noticed in reading the article though that all of this started before 2006. Anything that happened in 2006 is likely Martin's problem in any event. By the time the CPC took over government and got up and running what was done was already done. The torture goes back to 2002. We all know it. It is a plague on both our houses. Yes I think information is being leaked to favour the LPC. Wark is merely commenting on the story which originated with CP. It was the Liberal's after all who sent at least 3 Canadians abroad for extraordinary rendition. Their hands are dirty already. I don't know if the Conservatives hands are dirty or not, but I suspect that they are.

    Cheers,

    Earl

    ReplyDelete
  161. The two have nothing to do with one another, Shadow.

    Try again, and stand up for our soldiers' honour this time. I don't want their sacrifice to be for nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  162. Ok Eric, so now you're saying that anyone who doesn't support an investigation into war crimes is dishonour the troops.

    I can see we're past the point of reasonable debate.

    You may also consider retracting such an unbelievably bad faith statement.

    It reeks of hypocrisy since you've been complaining that the right is smearing people who want an investigation as disloyal to the troops.

    And now you're throwing around accusations of dishonouring the troops.

    You can see why that would be an example of hypocrisy on your part can't you ?

    ReplyDelete
  163. Good grief, this is starting to sound like rightwing crackpots in the US trying to claim that it was "dishonouring the troops" to expose the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam where where US soldiers wantonly murdered scores of civilians.

    The only thing that dishonours troops is governments trying to cover up the rule of law - which is what we are supposed to be fighting for.

    ReplyDelete
  164. Why are we in Afghanistan?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/army-launches-investigation-corrupt-afghans-stealing-millions-from-aid-funds-1917436.html

    http://tinyurl.com/ycef7oq

    ReplyDelete
  165. Shadow, I love that you are disliking my argument tactics. Can you take a guess at who I am purposefully mimicking?

    ReplyDelete
  166. Gee maybe we should also suppress any stories about corrupt politicians because if those stories get out - it might dishonour politicians. and maybe we should NEVER release any stories about priests sexaully abusing children since lo and behold - it will serve to dishonour the priesthood (as if that is a bad thing)

    ReplyDelete
  167. Why done't we just shut down everything that reports anything damaging to the conservative government.

    Why can a retired supreme court justice, and retired generals look at unredacted documens and our elected representatives can not.

    This is ridiculous

    Of course there is 1 major cover up going on by steve.

    I stand by that 100%

    ReplyDelete
  168. Shadow, John, Eric and 49:

    It doesn't appear that this issue is getting the play in the press that it is getting here. No-one seems to think Harper is going to hand over the documents and no-one seems think there will be an election.

    ReplyDelete
  169. Earl,

    I don't think this is getting a lot of play right now for the following reason.

    The media wants to verify what Amir Attaran is saying, to be true.

    When that happens

    Watch out

    ReplyDelete
  170. Hi Earl its going crazy on lib blogs too though.

    I guess tommorow will tell whether Derek Lee's motion is introduced or not.

    But this strikes me as a fumdental test of Ignatieff's leadership.

    He already surrendered on the budget.

    If the Liberals surrender on the detainee issue (because fmr liberal cabinet ministers are probably telling them to leave this alone!) then why on earth would a progressive voter ever support Iggy ?

    Depending on how it plays I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a drop in Liberal numbers and a surge in NDP, BQ, and Green support.

    ReplyDelete
  171. Hey 49 steps you're a Liberal aren't you ?

    How do you think you guys are going to feel if Iggy lets the budget pass and lets Harper cover up war crimes ?

    Are you going to be calling for him to step down or what ?

    ReplyDelete
  172. When the Canadian people are sick and tired of Stephen Harper and the conservatives, and want an election thats when I want the Liberals to move.

    Will you be crying tears when Stephen Harper lands his sorry butt over in the Hague?

    ReplyDelete
  173. 49 Steps: What you so hate about Stephen Harper? How is he so different from Chretien? Again I'm just trying to understand your point of view. Thanks,

    Earl.

    ReplyDelete
  174. Earl: With all due respect I think we have a basic and fundamental difference of opinion. I respect your position. Ideally it would be mine.

    Earl, I appreciate your position and I respect the way that you present it. I recognize that I am idealistic (or perhaps, like Glen Pearson, doe-eyed). But that's why I'm active in politics.

    I also have the advantage of having no politicians of any stripe to defend in this matter. I like to feel, though, that it wouldn't make a difference if I did.

    ReplyDelete
  175. Earl,

    I don't hate Stephen Harper.

    I dislike him immensely yes I do admit that.

    I find quite a lot about him objectionable.

    We will have agree to disagree about Stephen Harper.

    I respect your opinions and I think from my tone with you, you know that.

    I just have a very different opinion than you about Stephen Harper.

    Can we let it go at that.

    ReplyDelete
  176. Sure 49 I do understand. I felt the same way about Trudeau and Chretien. I like Mike Pearson and he was my first political hero. Once spoke to Judi LaMarsh at the CNE. It was exhilarating for a 10 year old boy. She spent ten or fifteen minutes with me.

    I don't like Harper per se but I prefer the policies of the CPC to those of the opposition. Harper is a small time partisan always looking for a gotcha moment. I wish he could grow out of that.

    Case closed!

    Cheers,

    Earl

    ReplyDelete
  177. Just as a bit of history. The original international laws of war were written to protect soldiers after the devastating effects of 'new warfare' and the breakdown on traditional honour and civility on the battlefield. (The Boer Wars are examples)
    They were expanded after the use of chemical weapons in WWI and the Russians were treated so terribly by the Nazis during WWII because they had not signed or ratified the Geneva Conventions. (Unlike other allied powers and thus two POW systems employed by the Nazis).

    It was these laws and accords that protected the lives of our soldiers and now we are being accused of breaking these very laws that keep our soliders safe. There are long term reprecussions to this, especially if they are not promptedly invested.
    First, the International Criminal Court could launch investigations, which would expose Canada as a non-complying country. In future wars, such a damage to our reputation could harm Canadian soliders who might be captured (i.e. Soviet troops in WWII).
    Second, this will damage our claim to be helping Afghanistan and will undermine the cause of democracy-building in Afghanistan. (Who would want to be seen working with someone complicit in torture.)

    More hypothetically, it could damage Canadian business as reputation is what powers the access our passports provide abroad. Additionally, it could expose Canadians to harm who travel abroad to states that are not so sympathetic, since they could make arguments to not follow the Vienna Conventions on Consular Services and treatment of non-nationals due to Canada's failure on the Geneva Conventions.

    In sum, this is a deeply troubling issue and within the context of Canadian foreign relations can present many potentially serious issues for Canada in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  178. Disgruntled Liberal: Agreed. The issue must be investigated. However what Harper has proposed sounds like a fair way to do so.

    What do you think?

    Cheers,

    Earl

    ReplyDelete
  179. For me, I would like to see the Honourable Mr. Justice being confirmed by the full Commons. Thus respecting the powers of Parliament (which are absolute and unending...as a side note to earlier questioning. The only limitation to the power of Parliament is that it cannot bind future Parliaments. Thus if a future Parliament wants to raise a motion or pass a law on a previous matter, it can as the 'future' Parliament takes supremacy over the 'past' Parliament, however this is an aside).
    I hope that the Right Honourable Prime Minister will ask the Commons to grant full powers to the Justice. Otherwise, I feel it is a public relations move and therefore insincere and not understanding the gravity of the situation.

    Hope that answers,
    DLlE (Disgruntled Liberal living in Europe)

    ReplyDelete
  180. Hi disgruntled, that's certainly the Errol Mendes reading of the law.

    And if this was Britain i'd agree with you. But we have a fundementally different system where the constitution is supreme, not parliament. Complicating that is a very active Supreme Court which sees itself as guardian of the constitution and the highest court in the land, even though some argue that parliament is.

    So in practice there's tension and competing claims between the executive, parliament and the courts.


    I should just add that Derek Lee's motion is VERY UNUSUAL in a historical context.

    It seems like he's more interested in setting a precedent then following one.

    ReplyDelete
  181. I'll just add a philisophical point, which is to say I object to the way in which international law, morality, honour, and justice have been invoked in this discussion.

    These concepts are not ends in themselves, they exist to constrain and direct human conduct in such a way as to reduce harm to others.

    It is a very shallow and basic understanding of these concepts to say they should be blindly upheld even in cirucmstances where doing so actually increases harm to others.

    The scenario Eric raises, of increased violence and inability to protect Afghans being worth it because our soldiers will have "honour" is the most troubling.

    There is no honour whatsoever in a soldier sitting in base watching a school being burnt and girls being stoned to death because its too dangerous to go off base after a scandal got the population mad as hell.

    The greater good demands that this line of inquiry not be pursued until the summer 2011 pull out date.

    ReplyDelete
  182. --- "There is no honour whatsoever in a soldier sitting in base watching a school being burnt and girls being stoned to death because its too dangerous to go off base after a scandal got the population mad as hell."

    I see your point. There's much more honour in leaving and having those schools burnt and those girls stoned in 2011 without our soldiers there to defend them.

    ReplyDelete
  183. And Shadow, your constant argument about the local population getting "mad as hell" is simply unfounded.

    Do you really expect the Afghans to do anything but a collective shrug? They already know that this stuff is happening. It's been happening since before the Soviets invaded.

    Comparing this to Abu Ghraib as you have done is, actually, pretty insulting to our soldiers. If what we've been hearing is the case, Canadians have handed over Afghans to the local government knowing they would be tortured. Abu Ghraib was a case of Americans torturing Iraqis, and taking disgusting pictures of it.

    As far as I know, no Canadian has been accused of torturing Afghans. Equating these two situations is crossing a line.

    If this comes out in full, the Afghans won't be "mad as hell". They already know their government is corrupt. They already believe the West is complicit.

    So enough with that argument. Canadian soldiers will still be able to leave their bases if this comes out. At least they would be able to hold their heads high, knowing that those responsible were held accountable.

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  184. Eric the Canadian Press reported today allegations that CSIS directly worked with Afghan intelligence in interrogating prisoners in 2006.

    If true we are in Abu Ghraib territory here.

    But you can't have it both ways.

    Either

    A) There is nothing to see here beyond the usual unpleasantness of war.

    or

    B) A serious transgression has taken place, so serious that the Taliban will instigate riots and use our media reports against us, putting our soldiers at risk.


    If its situation A then soldiers will hold their head high regardless of what was happening three years ago.

    If its situation B then they'll be more concerned about a pissed off population then abstract concepts of "honour".


    Either way I still have yet to hear a valid arguement for why this line of inquiry cannot wait a year until after the soldiers have pulled out.

    Better safe then sorry, or in this case better safe then Canadians killed.

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  185. Eric

    Greg Weston, Sun Media

    Stephen Harper's government of openness and accountability has come up with yet another creative ploy to hide evidence and otherwise sandbag MPs trying to get to the bottom of the Afghan detainee affair.
    --
    Since 2007, the government has been studiously stalling, stonewalling and generally hiding thousands of pages of documents relating to the possible torture of prisoners after Canadian troops turned them over to Afghan authorities.

    The issue is no longer so much about the treatment of Afghans at the hands of Afghans as it is about the credibility of the Harper government -- specifically, whether it lied about what and when it knew about the issue, and what was done about it.
    --
    Opposition MPs finally got fed up before Christmas and used their combined majority in the Commons to pass a motion demanding the government hand over all relevant documents.

    The government responded by producing a stack of mainly blacked-out pages, claiming the censored parts contained information that would compromise national security if released.

    Shortly thereafter, the prime minister responded by shutting down parliament for the past three months.
    --
    While the retired judge is certainly highly capable and beyond reproach, NDP MP Jack Harris makes the point that Parliament, not the government, should be deciding how to proceed with its inquiry into the detainee issue.

    As he put it: "This isn't about national security. This is about the government hiding the truth from Canadians." The detainee affair is fast becoming one of this country's longest-running cover-ups
    --
    Pretty well says it all doesn't it ?

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  186. Some late weekend reading. I agree with the Department of Justice. Peter, Lib Supporter, Eric, John and my friend 49 agree with Derreck Lee.

    Here's the link:

    http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/02/contemptwatch-a-little-light-weekend-reading.html

    I now have a much better understanding of issue. Peter I wish that you would have reffered me to something like this.

    Cheers all,

    Earl

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  187. Hi All:

    Apparently the government also has the option of referring the point of priviledge to the SOC for reference and a decision. Just something else in Kady O"Malley's blog.

    One of my favourite political bloggers, along with Wells and Coyne.

    Good fortune,

    Earl

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  188. 49,Eric

    http://tinyurl.com/yhszvx4

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  189. Earl:
    "I now have a much better understanding of issue. Peter I wish that you would have referred me to something like this.
    "

    I wish I'd known about that to as I would have pointed you to it.

    Most of my knowledge has come from radio or TV on this particular issue and I did not know about that very clear piece.

    Does Shadow care? Do pigs fly ?

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  190. This isn't Twitter, there are no character restrictions. Please don't post tinyurls.

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  191. Norman Spector's View:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/spector-vision/mps-are-heading-in-to-a-detainee-trap/article1492658/

    http://tinyurl.com/ybhawxs

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  192. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  193. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  194. Peter I hope you see now that I was merely trying to understand where your point of view got it's underpinnings. While I'm not convinced the Lee will succeed I at least understand his argument and hope that he doesn't succeed for it would set a dangerous precedent in my view. That said I hope there can be an agreed upon way to examine the documents in question and decide what does and does not constitute a matter of national security.

    I also lean towards Shadow's argument that revelations of torture will do great harm to our cause in Afghanistan. I continue think we may well go the polls over this in the end.

    Good fortune,

    Earl

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  195. Anyone here interested in investing?

    This is a great read IMO:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/04/wall-street-excerpt-201004

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  196. Earl, thanks for the Kady O'Malley link. That bases our discussion in a lot more reality and a lot less memory. It also makes Derek Lee look like a principled and impartial (albeit thorny) defender of our constitution and the institution of Parliament.

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  197. Earl:
    "While I'm not convinced the Lee will succeed I at least understand his argument and hope that he doesn't succeed for it would set a dangerous precedent in my view. "

    Actually if he does not succeed the danger is far greater. Because de facto that would say the Executive/Govt can ignore Parliament in which case why bother to elect it at all.

    Get my point ?

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  198. Eric:
    "This isn't Twitter, there are no character restrictions. Please don't post tinyurls."

    Then make it so we can post Links as distinct from some of these extremely long URL's we deal with !!

    Or at least post instructions on how to do links !

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  199. I'm getting really, really tired of this thing refusing to accept the correct characters and demanding it be done a second time.

    I may be getting older but I'm a long way from senile !!

    Guess what?? Just did it again !!

    This is BULLSHIT !!

    ReplyDelete
  200. Peter: Or at least post instructions on how to do links !

    You mean a link like this?

    Lessons I've learned in online life:
    1) Google rocks.
    2) Always click the Preview button before posting.
    3) (I picked up this one about a quarter of a century ago and it's the most valuable of the three.) Before posting something testy, I get up, go to the bathroom and then come back and look at what I wrote. Then I ask myself if it's really what I wanted to say.

    ReplyDelete

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