Thursday, 27 May 2010

Should Ayatollah Ouellet register as a lobbyist? (with update goodness)

From the Ayatollah's media conference yesterday:
"With my colleague, the Archbishop of Ottawa, who like me has close ties to governments, I am appealing to the conscience of my fellow Canadians, women and men, so that together we may one day call for a change in this unjust situation in our country – the current legal void in abortion matters."
"Close ties to government" ...? Regulations about lobbying are clear.
Generally speaking, they include communicating with public office holders with respect to changing federal laws, regulations, policies or programs, [...] arranging a meeting between a public office holder and another person.

Public office holders include employees of the federal public service, Members of Parliament, Senators and many other in government.
If Ayatollah Ouellet is demanding that Parliament legislate to limit women's access to a legal and safe medical intervention available under the Health Act and provided by physicians, then he and the Catholic Church should be obliged to register their staff, as other multinational corporations are required to do. And taxes should be paid as well on the revenue dedicated to lobbying public office holders.

These meetings and close ties that Catholic Church officials are using to exert pressure on public office holders to create legislature, as well as the campaigns they direct should be reported and monitored, as a matter of public record.

Update: Alison of Creekside, who steered me towards the quote from Ayatollah Ouellet raises a most important point: Charles McVety should also be obliged to register as a lobbyist.


fern hill said...

Yes! Oooh, I think this should be a recurrent theme here at DJ!

J. A. Baker said...

Heh. You just reminded me of something my favorite philosopher - the late, great George Carlin - said on this very subject:

I don't know how you feel, but I'm pretty sick of church people. You know what they ought to do with churches? Tax them. If holy people are so interested in politics, government, and public policy, let them pay the price of admission like everybody else. The Catholic Church alone could wipe out the national debt if all you did was tax their real estate.

Anonymous said...

People and institutions are only required to register as lobbyists if they spend 20% of their paid work time engaged in lobbying and lobbying related activities.

deBeauxOs said...

That 20% applies to staff members in the employ of organizations.

The Catholic Church, through its members and clerics who are writing and phoning and taking meetings with public office holders to lobby for legislation or policy changes or programs should be required to provide a record of these activities.

Alison said...

Even if they aren't technically lobbyists, the public should be aware of who is trying to influence government. That includes the likes of McVety who, I would argue, is more of a threat given the current government.

Anonymous said...

The title "Ayatollah" is actually reserved for those who achieve a certain level of education in Islam.

The allusion you are attempting to make is to the Supreme Leader of Iran for the purpose of an ad hominem attack.

Though Archbishop Ouellet does have a high degree of theologically education the equivalence you are trying to make is a false one as the Catholic Church is very centralized while Islam is not and the Archbishop does not have a political role which Ayatollah Ali Khamenei does.

It almost seems like you are attempting to denigrate Islam and Catholicism by conflating these titles.

As a Catholic I found parts of this post insulting but not because you use the title Ayatollah but because many of history's greatest satirists were Catholic and the joke itself is not very humourous. Also, his Archbishop Ouellet is "Primate of Canada." How could you not make a joke out of that?

Alison said...

dBOs, in your update I think you meant to link to Alison at Wacky Canuck, although I will happily second her very good point.

~Alison @ Creekside

deBeauxOs said...

Well actually uranowski, my purpose in coining the expression Ayatollah Ouellet is multiple.

1) It sounds good, very catchy.

2) The Vatican Taliban really really likes it when catholicism is the state religion and its primates are dictating the law, as it pertains to women's bodies, to that country's politicians.

3) But the Vatican Taliban is quick to find reasons to criticize those countries where sharia is established.

4) I was a practicing Catholic but I got over it in my adolescence once I observed at the parish level how priests abused the trust people had in them, and how the higher clergy abused the power they held over the faithful.

croghan27 said...

"The title "Ayatollah" is actually reserved for those who achieve a certain level of education in Islam."

uranowski you should keep up with developments in the language and the politics of Iran. The Ayatollah in Iran does indeed have a political position - he is simply the head of their government. As such he title has been commonly extended to mean the ultimate authority in many different spheres.

As a catholic I find the entire post acceptable. If the 'primate' of Canada wants to extend his (and it is always a 'his') religious mandate to the political area he can expect all the slings and arrows that this entails.

If Ouellet does not like the heat, perhaps he should get out of the kitchen and get back to minding his own (very messy) house.

k'in said...

I hope the opposition parties are taking notes, and will incorporate the footage from these spout-off fests in their campaign ads.

Didn't these wingnuts get the memo that teenage pregnancy rates AND abortion rates are down in heathen/lawless Canada?

These religious zealots are the biggest capitalists on the planet. Forced pregnancies are the only way to insure the supply of gold & souls (and molestable girls & boys) continues to flow.

Canadians do not want to live in a theocracy.

But don't tell Steve. Come next election, he may find himself kicked to the curb if he continues to take direction from the likes of spiritual advisor McVety & Ayatollah Ouellet.

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