Monday, May 30, 2005

Aim for what you want, a lot; everybody gets a shot

Who cares about that silly due process or democracy? We've got piles of federal pork to push through, parliamentary tradition be damned. OTTAWA (CP) - As the Conservatives prepare for a long battle over the Martin government's budget, the NDP is urging the Liberal minority to order an end to hearings on two budget bills - if that's what it takes to speed passage. The Conservatives indicate they'll carry the fight beyond the scheduled June 23 end of the Commons spring sitting. That could force MPs to remain in Ottawa into July, but likely wouldn't end in the early downfall of the Liberals. Debate on Bill C-43, the budget implementation legislation, and Bill C-48 - the $4.6-billion NDP budget deal - is scheduled to begin at the Commons finance committee Tuesday. The Conservatives want to introduce amendments to both pieces of legislation, and call witnesses before the committee, a process that could take more than a month, suggested Conservative finance critic Monte Solberg. "I can't see two bills, dealing with $200 billion in spending, one of which was made up on the fly, passing through before the 23rd of June." If it's delayed that long, the government should have the House order the committee to report back to Parliament, said New Democrat Judy Wasylycia-Leis. "It's a rather last-resort option. "(But) if we're dealing with a whole lot of witnesses and a whole lot of motions, that's clearly a sign of obstruction. If the Conservatives are true to their word, then we're in for quite a battle." Such an order would be unusual, as Parliamentary committees are normally left alone to set their own work schedules. The CP stringer goes on to report the NDP's response, in demanding that the Liberals force the budget through regardless. It's a bit sad how, given a taste of real power, a self-decribed party of social democrats proves itself more attached to the spending of socialism than the mechanics of democracy, no? What can be done, then? Two words: Nuclear option. Conservatives need to be painting disruption of the normal order of House business as reckless and power-mad, in addition to being obviously self-serving. Say it with me, people: Nuclear option. Nuclear option. Nuclear option. Hey, it seemed to work for the Dem minority in the US Senate...

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