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Dear Ralph Goodale..

..and Liberal leaders of the caucus:

Turtling Abstaining from votes and giving the Conservatives a free hand in the House the last Parliamentary Session didn’t work out very well this past election; so why in the world are you thinking of trying it again by being willing to consider giving up one of your seats on the House committees and handing the Conservatives defacto majority status on said Committees?

As Kady O’Malley said about this apparent surrendering a committee seat without a fight tactic:

Did you learn nothing from the last leadership race? Just because a half dozen or so of your MPs may be out on the party party circuit hustling for support doesnít mean that you can just abandon your responsibilities as the Official Opposition. You talked a good game about the dangers of a Conservative majority during the election campaign – now show some spine and make sure that they donít end up with a de facto majority in the committee room just because you donít have the gumption to hold your ground. This isnít just about one of your seats – itís about the combined power of the opposition parties, and you owe it to the rest of them – and the people who voted for you, for that matter – not to cede it out because youíre distracted by the glimmer of something shiny off the Hill.

It’s pretty sad that we’re willing to concede this with nary a whimper,† while the NDP has vowed to fight the Conservatives and prevent them from having a majority on the Committees when they ddnt earn that privilege in the first place with another minority government. My attitude toward this is the same as Eugene Forsey Liberal is saying† over at their blog: “This is crazy! Have we gone completely nuts?! WTF!!!

9 comments to Dear Ralph Goodale..

  • eugene forsey liberal

    What McQuilken said is quite true. That doesn’t necessarily mean he or Goodale are in favour of giving up a seat in negotiations. I can see why it might seem Goodale et.al. are behind this, but that quote, in and of itself, doesn’t demonstrate intent. I’d like toi have known what he said before and after that line…
    Very ticked at this so want to guard myself from condemning anyone before facts are in.

  • Ted

    I agree with Scott, you need a vibrant opposition. Its part of Democracy.

  • sharonapple88

    If you want to e-mail him about it

    Ralph Goodale:

    [email protected]

  • @Eugene Forsey Liberal

    From the quoted Kady O’Malley article:

    The Liberals are showing a willingness to give up their fourth seat on each of the committees after their caucus shrank to 77 MPs from 95. ďThe numbers are negotiated between all parties and reflect as much as possible the makeup of the House,Ē said Patrick McQuilken, who works in the office of Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale.

  • I heard one very ignorant Conservative (obviously) supporter claim that adding another seat to the committees would contribute to “parliamentary bloat”. Hmmm… Do these guys know anything about reality at all? Adding a member to the committee doesn’t cost extra, or make government bigger. At the very least, it guarantees another parliamentarian is actually IN Parliament WORKING on committees. All the Cons who always belly-ached about “absentee” parliamentarians should be overjoyed about adding more seats to committees. Picture a grade school with more desks in the classroom, and less recess…

    Committees do the REAL work of Parliament. I think most Conservatives believe Question Period is the real work of Parliament. Of course they don’t have a clue – as with any other matter of Parliamentary principle…

  • May I suggest an alternative explanation? Could it be that, despite protests to the contrary, the powers that be in the Liberal party are not all that unhappy with the Conservatives running the show?

  • I don’t know where it originates, I find it hard to imagine anyone could be so stupid. Wherever it’s coming from, that person’s role in the party should be re-evaluated, since they clearly lack basic judgment. The only “Liberals” I can imagine proposing such a thing are LeDrew & Heard types. You say Goodale. Really? Where’d you hear that? Surely he’s not that dumb. Surely.

  • well it would allow them to turtle over the next couple of years without having to publicly do so more than the few news cycles that meekly ceding their seats on the committees will create. It really is gutless politics if they go this route.

  • I agree completely with you, Scott.

    (/heavy sigh)

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