Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Former Liberal MP Rats On the Troika Perogy Proposals

A former Liberal MP slams his party and the NDP for their perogy proposals.

The best thing about writing in the Globe’s dead-tree edition is the feedback from its unique readership.

For example, in reaction to yesterday’s column, I received an e-mail from Edward McWhinney – a former professor of constitutional law and adviser to governments, who sat in the House of Commons as Liberal MP for Vancouver-Quadra from 1993-2000. In it, Professor McWhinney disses the Liberal and NDP prorogation proposals and suggests an ingenious one of his own:

Norman Spector, Columnist, Globe & Mail

I read with great interest your comments in the Globe and Mail of February 2 on a current proposal by the federal NDP leader, and a later, rather more intricate and “Gothic” plan by the Liberal leader, to have the House of Commons establish, in terms, specific limits and conditions to the Governor General’s Reserve, Prerogative powers, such as they may exist today, as to Prorogation. I fully share the constitutional-legal doubts expressed by Quebec jurist, Benoit Pelletier, as reported in the G&M of January 26, as to Mr. Layton’s proposal, and these doubts would seem to apply even more to the brief now advanced by Mr. Ignatieff.

It is surely beyond the constitutional mandate and competence of Parliament to seek to legislate in regard to what is, after all, a fully autonomous and separate, coordinate institution of government in relation to Parliament.

To say that is not to suggest that constitutional changes should not be considered to the incidents and attributes of the office of Governor General today or, more specifically, to the constitutional relations inter se of the institutions of head-of-state and head-of-government: it is simply that the office of Governor General is too important in our system of government for amendment in it to be ventured upon by conscious constitutional indirection, in the interstices of a proposed change to Parliamentary rules and practice.

If Mr. Layton were now to delete the references to the Governor General and to limit his proposal to the “saving” of public legislation still before the House at the time of Prorogation he would respond to heartfelt irritations felt by MPs of all main parties in recent years in having Bills on which they had spent many hours working together in Committee automatically disappear into legal limbo on the grant of the writ.

Mr. Layton could at the same time suggest the addition to all such grants in the future of a specific, deliberately limited time duration: this has certainly been the practice, one might say convention, in exercises in grants of Prorogation under the Chretien and the Harper governments equally, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t now be formalised.

Why not, at the same time, replace the esoteric Latinism, “Prorogation” by something in plainer English that is more nearly descriptive of what has actually been involved in the historical record of the 105 grants of Prorogation, to Liberal and also Conservative Prime Ministers, since the Constitution was first adopted in 1867?

Best wishes, and keep on with your always stimulating columns. [I remember earlier valuable exchanges of views with you during your years in Ottawa when there was still the possibility to save Meech Lake].

Ted McWhinney

(h/t) Norman Spector

More IPCC Lies

More goofs, oops (lies) by the IPCC. IPCC report claimed 55 percent of land on which 60 percent of the Dutch live is below sea level. The real figure is 20 percent. The lies are sure starting to stack up.

IPCC AR4 reported:

The Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea-level rise and river flooding because 55% of its territory is below sea level where 60% of its population lives and 65% of its Gross National Product (GNP) is produced.

Dutch newspaper Vrij Nederland reported today (Google translation):

In its last Assessment Report on the impacts of climate change shows that 55% of Netherlands is below sea level in this area and that 65% of the gross national product is produced. These figures are far too high. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) is only one fifth of the Netherlands below sea level and there are only 19% instead of 65% of the GDP generated.

Not that 20% is something to be ignored if that’s what they think. But the percentage below sea level is the sort of thing that primary school geography classes should be able to get right. (h/t) Climate Audit

Get that politicians? Wake up! More and more of the IPCC claims are lies! They keep piling up. It's all a fraud! Stop this insanity! Premier Stelmach, stop wasting $2bill on carbon sequestration when you don't have to. Don't commit our money based on lies! PM Harper and Minister Prentice, quit all your global warming talk, instead call for an investigation into this fraud.

Why Does Mr. Iffy Bring Up Abortion?

Mr. Iffy apparently wants PM Harper to make abortions a priority at the G8 and G20 summits this summer. He claims he's not trying to play politics or being ideological here. Yeh, right! Then why bring it up?

OTTAWA -- Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff says Prime Minister Stephen Harper must include abortion in his G8 initiative to mobilize international support for maternal and child health care in the world's poorest countries.

Mr. Ignatieff told reporters yesterday that there is no direct evidence that Mr. Harper's initiative would specifically exclude abortion. "We just want to lay down a marker that we hope they don't go there," he said.


"This is the last place to start playing politics here and ideology here. Women are entitled to the full gamut of reproductive health services and that includes termination of pregnancy and contraception." (h/t) National Post

I think that's exactly what he's trying to do. He wants to bring back the old tired hidden agenda fear and smear card again. He's even bringing George Bush into it. Boy that's another old one.

Mr. Ignatieff noted that in the United States, the administration of president George W. Bush prevented aid money from going to organizations that supported abortion.

Here's what the PMO said.
“Saving lives of mothers and children should not be a political football,” said Mr. Harper's press secretary, Dimitri Soudas. “This has nothing to do with abortion. This has nothing to do with gay marriage. This had nothing to do with capital punishment.”
He called Mr. Ignatieff's remarks “sad.”
“Far too many lives have already been lost for want of relatively simple health-care necessities such as clean water, inoculation, better nutrition, or well-trained health care workers,” Mr. Soudas said. (h/t) G&M
Sad indeed! It's rather pathetic if you ask me.
Mr. Iffy accuses the PM for being divisive but I think it's Mr. Iffy that is the divisive one here.
It looks like Mr. Donolo is advising him to go back to the tactics that worked in the past for the Libs but it's not going to work anymore, old the fear and smear tactics.