Saturday, January 23, 2010

What does proroguing parliament mean?

Today, in many cities across Canada, there will be rallies against our government's proroguing of parliament, but why are people so upset?

According to the Anti-Prorogation website, Proroguing means:

  1. All 37 bills being debated in Parliament are thrown in the trash. Discussion on bills starts from scratch in March, wasting months of hard work by all parties. These bills included new crime legislation, limits on credit card insurance rates, etc.
  2. Committees investigating accusations of torture of Afghan detainees stop working
  3. Discussions and decisions about the pension crisis affecting Canada’s seniors stops
  4. Questions about Canada’s inaction at the Copenhagen climate-change summit are silenced. Opportunities to move forward with Canada’s plan for sustainable development are stalled for over a month.
  5. Your MPs cannot raise your concerns in Ottawa
"That government officials or politicians may have been negligent in safeguarding the treatment of Afghan detainees, thus violating the Geneva Conventions, is of no real concern to most Canadians, the Tories maintain.

They are almost certainly right. But the fact remains that proroguing Parliament shuts down the committee that was the source of the most embarrassing revelations about government bungling in Afghanistan. The Military Police Complaints Commission, which was also looking into the affair, is effectively suspended until the government gets around to appointing a new commissioner.

By government design, all official inquiry into this matter has been terminated until March, at least. The Conservatives aren't concerned? They have a strange way of showing it."

I'll see you on the hill.

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