Friday 22 March 2013

Democracy at Risk!!!!!

The decision to deem Warawa's Wank non-voteable is becoming even more fun.

The parliamentary expert had no problem with either the jurisdiction or possible repetitiveness of M408, aka the Gotcha Motion That Proves Pro-Choicers to Be Enthusiastic Murderers of Pre-Born Women. Those were the flimsy excuses the committee cited: that abortion/health is a provincial matter and the subject had been voted on recently (Woodworth's Wank).

Natch, Warawa shrieked about democracy, independence of MPs, yadayada.

(When any fool with more than one functioning neuron could see the Iron Fist of PMSHithead clamping down on any whiff of the dreaded abortion debate.)

Today, it seems Warawa is getting some support.
Here is where Mr. Warawa might get the support of those who otherwise oppose his views on abortion. Regardless of how one feels about his motion, regardless of how uncomfortable it might make the leadership of Mr. Warawa’s party, every MP and everyone who is represented by an MP should be concerned if Mr. Warawa is being prevented from putting a motion before the House simply because some people oppose its sentiment or would rather it not be brought forward. Never mind the very fraught matter of abortion, this now threatens to become a question about the nature of parliamentary democracy and the independence of MPs.
This is delicious. If M408 is found to be voteable, opponents can squeal 'HIDDEN AGENDA!' If non-voteable, everybody can squeal 'DEMOCRACY SCREWED!'

In short, PMSHithead is between a rock and a hard place.

Good spot for him, isn't it?

For interested watchers -- popcorn!

By the way, this is the committee that will hear Warawa's appeal.

Image source.


Sixth Estate said...

I definitely think Warawa's motion should be voted on.

After that, Parliament can vote on motions that aboriginal people are not equal to white people, that women should not be allowed to vote, and that Jesus should be given an honorary Cabinet portfolio.

And then, once that's all over with, they can get back to doing the jobs we pay them for.

fern hill said...

New acronym! Which portfolio would Jesus have? WPWJH

choice joyce said...

I think the "flimsy excuses the committee cited" are not flimsy, but quite valid. If you don't mind a bit of background on this whole thing...

The anti's have been saying that the analyst from the Library of Parliament testified that Motion 408 should be votable. No, he just offered advice and the Subcommittee is under no obligation to take it. The analyst claimed during Thursday's meeting that bills and motions are different in terms of the "federal jurisdiction" issue and that motions have much more leeway because they are not "acts of Parliament" and do not make "rules". He said: "If a motion were to interfere in provincial matters, we could say it’s against criteria, but this is just asking the house to condemn such discrimination."

However, there is nothing in the criteria to suggest anything like that, it simply says "bills and motions must not concern questions that are outside federal jurisdiction." ( So the Subcommittee was perfectly entitled to disagree with and disregard the analyst's advice. Further, the analyst showed almost no resistance on the other criterion, that M-408 was substantially the same as M-312. He just noted that "one was to conduct a study, while this one is regarding an opinion from the house." But Dion or Toone (not sure which) replied that it was the TOPIC they were referring to, not the specific task required of the House. The analyst had no further objection.

Only 3 MPs attended the Subcommittee meeting - Stephane Dion (Liberal), Philip Toone (NDP) and Scott Armstrong (Conservative). Armstrong is pro-choice. (The 4th member Scott MacKenzie was absent, he is anti-choice but voted against M-312). Dion and Toone were the first to argue that it was non-votable. Armstrong chimed in at the end to agree with them, and then it was over. It was a short meeting.

So I don't think anyone should put all the blame on the PMO's office, as it was a cross-party decision. No party wanted this motion to come forward. The PMO could have had a hand in it, but I suspect it was mostly the Chief Government Whip Gordon O'Connor (who is not part of the PMO). He may be doing Harper's bidding, but they're both on the same page, plus O'Connor is pro-choice.

One thing that's disappointing is that the Subcommittee did not cite the criteria that the motion would be unconstitutional. I think that's the best one, because M-408 challenges women's rights and targets ethnic communities in a discriminatory manner. However, the votability criteria does say that the motion/bill must "not CLEARLY violate" the constitution. The argument that M-408 is unconstitutional is perhaps a more challenging one to make, so that could be why the Subcommittee relied on the other two criteria. (The 4th criteria does not apply at all in this case.)

fern hill said...

Great info, Joyce, but sheesh. We're busy trying to Divide the Right here. ;-)

choice joyce said...

Oops sorry!! I guess I should post this kind of stuff on my own blog, lol.

fern hill said...

No, of course you're more than welcome to add stuff here. Just teasing. . .

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