The shocking, not unexpected, demise of our Parliamentary system
When you have newly-resurrected Green MP Elizabeth May lamely saying perhaps we should have a Parliamentary debate or it might be appropriate to do so concerning spending money on war, you know we are in trouble as a democracy
They are all feeding out of the public trough with little accountability. This is a Party that many thought held some promise to hold the political middle in our country and then they go and blow it all by showing everyone they cannot transition to new leadership, and who says if you are a member of the Party and you request it, the Party’s financials will be made available to you. How do you like those potatoes? Lots of transparency here.
A recent article in the Hill Times shows the state of our Parliamentary system — an MP even suggests that the Parliamentary Committee on Defence should be involved in Government decisions to spend money and send Canadian soldiers to be engaged in the useless war in Ukraine, one of the most corrupt nations in the world.
Here is the headline to that news story
‘Some MPs hope for more transparency on Canada’s military response to invasion of Ukraine’
So MPs are now a coterie of hope.
No, no, do not as an elected MP demand that Parliament debate the deployment of soldiers to a useless war, just hope !!
And to elaborate:
‘With media reports of Canadian special forces troops operating on the ground in Ukraine and the announcement of successive military deployments in response to Russia’s invasion, there has been limited willingness for increased parliamentary consultations, though some MPs are hoping that will change.’
If that does not reek of Executive Government I don’t know what does.
To continue: ‘Largely absent has been a loud call from the opposition benches to hold debates or votes on the missions. In the past, the opposition has called on the government to consult the House of Commons even in cases of non-combat deployments.
When the then-Conservative government pushed for special forces to be deployed in Iraq to train local fighters against ISIS in 2014, both the NDP and Liberals pushed for a vote. The Conservatives called for a debate in the House over Canada’s deployment of peacekeepers to Mali in 2018.
The lowly, ineffective NDP MP can only bark as her leader and Party abdicate their responsibilities as a opposition party – listen to her complain
NDP MP Lindsay Mathyssen (London–Fanshawe, Ont.), her party’s defence critic, said she is constantly pushing for greater accountability and transparency, noting that all the parties are of the same opinion in support of Ukraine.
She said she has been discouraged and frustrated about some of the information that is not being released about Canada’s response to the Russian invasion.
She said the NDP wants to scrutinize all deployments abroad, but she said they recognize the executive jurisdiction over the deployments’ day-to-day operations.
Beyond the military response to the war, Mathyssen said there needs to be transparency over the effectiveness of the sanction regime and when Canada’s embassy will reopen in Ukraine. She added the government needs to be more clear about the tracking of weapons being sent to the combat zone.
She said it’s possible for the Liberal government to bring the non-combat deployments to the House for a debate.
“If I don’t know what’s going on, how am I supposed to ask the right questions?” she asked.
She said the House Defence Committee could be used far more effectively.
‘Those committee meetings could be held in camera. All Parliamentarians don’t want to put the men and women [of the military] at risk. They don’t want to jeopardize any sort of strategic gains no matter the operation,” she said. “You could use those in-camera sessions a bit more within that committee to achieve more of that accountability.”
Whistling in the dark.
You think Parliamentary Committees could be used more effectively? Uh??
And her party does not publish audited financial statements on their website. And she is arguing for accountability and transparency?
If she had any spunk she would go to her leader and say this in unacceptable – and get as many feeble souls with her as she can and get out of that Party if integrity and responsibility is not restored.
And Elizabeth May, that former tenacious political fighter, now submerged in the double speak of Ottawa exclaims she would like to see the House hold votes on Canada’s military response to the invasion.
‘I think it would be appropriate to have votes on specific military engagements of Canada in defending Ukraine,” she said.
My my, I suspect she thinks she has now discharged her parliamentary responsibilities and all is well with the world. Let the war continue and our tax dollars be spent, while 5 million Canadians have no family physician – people dying and injured from experimental vaccines excused by a compliant press and professional organizations from coast to coast, all feeding off some Government trough directly or indirectly.
And then the spin is suffocating – read this in the same article;
‘The New York Times and Global News have also reported that Canadian special forces troops are operating on the ground in Ukraine for training and to arrange the shipments of weapons and equipment. The Canadian government has not confirmed nor denied those reports. Chief of the defence staff Wayne Erye told the CBC earlier this month that Canada is “never going to talk about discreet or sensitive special operations or confirm or deny them,” citing risks to Canadian soldiers and feeding Russian disinformation.’
Note, the Government ‘has not confirmed or denied’ and most brazenly it is an unelected spokesman for the Government who responds, not a Minister, not a parliamentary Secretary, not the adolescent PM who calls us racists, not an elected MP in a parliamentary committee. But the Chief of Defence Staff who will protect his behind all the way to the next promotion.
Ah, and now lets go to those experts who are always around to chip in their bit for democracy – can’t have a news article without the arm chair experts can you?
Rideau Institute president Peggy Mason, a former ambassador for disarmament, said deployments should involve parliamentary consultations even when they are non-combat in nature.
‘The fact that they are non-combat missions should make the issue of transparency easier, because, of course, there’s always the operational component when there’s an active combat mission,” she said.
Mason said the real problem is that Parliamentarians want to show their absolute support for Ukraine and, thus, have concluded that there doesn’t need to be parliamentary scrutiny and transparency.
‘Believing that it is right to support Ukraine doesn’t translate into [saying] that every single action that a government takes purportedly in support of Ukraine is the right action or a good action or an appropriate action,” she said. “In my view, it is an abdication of responsibility by Parliamentarians to apparently have made this decision.”
Carleton University professor David Carment, who studies Canadian foreign policy and conflict mediation, echoed Mason saying there needs to be more transparency and accountability in Parliament over the deployments.
“Unfortunately, there is very little room for dissent … or debate,” said Carment, editor of the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal.
He said without the parliamentary debate, what is missed are conversations about the potential long-term consequences of Canada’s actions.
“Canadians need to be apprised of the actions the government is taking, and more specifically, the cost involved in doing these kinds of things,” he said. “Most of these announcements have been made without much public debate.”
Who thought that in 2022 academics in Canada would be talking about parliamentary oversight about spending money on a real war. One would have thought it would be a given – because you know we are so much more democratic that that ugly beast to the south. They actually have House and Senate Committees and brave Governors who exert their powers under the Constitution.
So as I have previously written, the Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary, in mangling our Constitution, the three pillars of our democracy, have failed us and we waddle around seeking leaders in old mainstream parties that have failed us and perpetrate our democratic failures.