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Good framing of the public inquiry demands by Layton

Layton’s summary is that if the Government of Canada refuses to start a judicial public inquiry into the Afghan Detainee Issue, then an international body (ie. The International Criminal Court) will potentially do it instead. We don’t want that:

“It’s very important that we take control of this here in Canada because if we do not, then we’re going to find that international bodies are going to start asking questions and conducting their own investigations if we don’t take hold of that responsibility here,” Layton told reporters in Ottawa on Thursday.

The 2nd part of the good framing tactic – playing down that the NDP will ask the ICC to look into this:

Layton said he wouldn’t file his own complaint to the international court about the the issue, preferring that the federal government look into the matter. “It would be preferable by far to have Canadians doing the investigation that needs to be done about what happened rather than having some international body have to do it. Let’s take responsibility here.”

That prevents more of the disgraceful “opposition parties hate the troops – we love them” crap we’ve seen come out of the Conservative ranks, particularly in today’s debating of the “release all documents motion” debate put forth by the Liberals this AM. Layton also knows he doesn’t need to file a complaint with the ICC, as a couple of human rights professors have already filed a complaint and the ICC thought enough of the complaints to be valid to be apparently investigating what’s been going on over here and over in Afghanistan.

This is a good framing of this issue by Layton and the NDP, which follow the heads-up motion filed by the Liberals to assert the supremacy of Parliament in their efforts to force the government to release unredacted Afghan detainees documents to the Parliamentary Committee.

If I were playing strategist, I’d offer the Conservative government a way out of an embarrassing defeat over being forced to accede to Parliamentary supremacy on unredacted documents – the Conservatives must bow to the will of Parliament (as indicated in the vote a few days ago) to start a full Parliamentary inquiry on the matter, fire Peter Mackay/accept his resignation as Defense Minister, and in return, the motion compelling the government to turn over documents to the Parliamentary Committee will be delayed/postponed – pending full compliance of these opposition demands of course.

2 comments to Good framing of the public inquiry demands by Layton

  • Dana

    At this point the ICC is the only hope we have of finding out the truth.

    If indeed anyone is actually interested in the truth and its not all just about partisan one-up-man-ship.

    Its painful to contemplate how far our international reputation has fallen.

  • If history is any teacher in this issue the Cons will do none of the above. Instead they will refuse to hand over the documents, forcing a parliamentary crisis, and if they lose this one they will continue to spin. The ICC would take years to do anything so no one is really worried about that. The only thing that the Liberals and other opposition parties can do is pass a motion demanding an inquiry which if is worded such that if Harper doesn’t call it it is a confidence vote in the government. This would probably work because no government wants to fight an election on such a basis. But once again if history is any kind of teacher the Liberals will flake out on the whole thing.

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