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Conservatives want to pretend prorogation has no consequences vis-a-vis crime bills.

I see via Far & Wide that Justice Minister Rob Nicholson had the gall to come out and demand the opposition parties reinstate the Conservative crime bills.  Those would be the same crime bills that Nicholson and his Conservative government were in daily hysterics last year demanding that the House and Senate quickly pass them in order to protect the country. Those would also be the same crime legislation that got killed due to Harper proroguing Parliament, showing that “urgency” to be a complete sham; trying to protect the government from potentially politically damaging/embarrassing information was more important.

Now, Minister Nicholson wants the opposition parties to pretend prorogation never happened. I’m tempted to advise the opposition parties the same as Steve – that is, to tell Nicholson to “pound salt” – but I’m thinking if Nicholson and his government want these crime bills badly enough, the opposition parties can play some hardball as well. If I were the opposition parties, I’d counter Nicholson by saying that they will agree to fast-track the bills, provided that the government voluntarily turns over the unredacted documents on the Afghanistan detainees to Parliament (as Parliament voted on, and which is the real reason we had prorogation).

That would quickly show the hypocrisy of the Conservatives yet again if they refused, as well as remind people that there must be something very politically damaging in those documents against the Conservative government if they abandoned their entire legislative agenda in the middle of a session by proroguing Parliament, somehow hoping that the Olympics and a month and half extra break would make people forget about that as an issue.

12 comments to Conservatives want to pretend prorogation has no consequences vis-a-vis crime bills.

  • Alison S

    There is nothing that the opposition should trade for the hideous and useless crime bills. Fast track them? They should be buried for good. They have no bearing on the reality of crime in Canada, and has been mentioned, would give us the same vicious system as enjoyed south of the border.

    Harper won’t rest until he turns us into Alabama (or even worse, Mississippi).

  • Jason Hickman

    Not my business to tell the Liberals how to run their shop, but by forcing the Tories to re-introduce the legilsation, aren’t the Grits just giving the CPC another chance to talk about one of their favourite issues? (To say nothing of the potential problems if the Liberal MPs change their votes on legislation that was identical to what they supported last time.)

    I’m really agnostic on the point. The legislation will probably make it through whether it has to start from “GO” again or not (my guess: even if the Libs or others change their positions, at least some opposition MPs may skip any crucial votes so that the bills squeak through). But if the legislation doesn’t get enough votes this time ’round, then it’ll be a point of difference between the CPC and the Libs, and the public can judge them accordingly.

    • bullcaller

      @Jason Hickman,

      Jason, I would agree with what you are saying – and strategically that is exactly what nicholson is attempting to do, change the channel and reset the dialogue.

      The best thing for the libs to do is laugh it off, make a funny sound bite about if it was so important then maybe they shouldn’t have ‘recalibrated’, and ignore it. The last thing to do is give any lift to these tactics by the cons, and stay focussed on the issues.

      The conservatives can certainly table what they want, they are government, but what will get through before a confidence vote is another story altogether. If the NDP prop up Harper yet again, then the libs have nothing to lose by voting for or against whatever they throw at them, and can set the narrative on their rationale. If the government falls, the cons have the biggest war chest but I don’t know if they have enough money to fill the hole they dug for themselves the last 90 days.

  • Red Forever

    Od course the Afghan detainee issue was the reason for prorogation.

    On a lighter note love that Mike Duffy/Nancy Greene plug for the cons.

    Perfect attack ad for the good guys to use.

  • Big Winnie

    I would make the CONs reintroduce those bills again. How many of the crime bills that were killed as a result of prorogation, were a reintroduction of bills that were previously crushed due to prorogation/election?

    I too want the unredacted docs turned over, but instead of offering to fast track the crime bills in exchange, I want to see the oppostion parties to use whatever mechanism available to inform the government that unless the docs are released, they will be charged with contempt of parliament. Moreover, I want them to follow through on the promise.

  • The crime bills are dangerous. They’d have us following the US’s profoundly failed and monumentally expensive example, which includes a disastrous war on drug users and an unprecedented expansion of the prison system. Crime rates have been falling steadily for over a decade, yet the Cons are promoting this whole sloganized “tough on crime” approach. They’re exploiting and playing to people’s FEAR of crime, which is based more on American TV than on Canadian reality.

    I want the government to turn over the documents on the Afghan detainees too. Very much so. But not in exchange for the crime bills.

  • david

    The crime bill reads, 1 pot plant indoors is mandatory 9 months in jail, punch someone in the face and knock out all their teeth and get a suspended sentence, yet go to jail for 1 pot plant.This is STUPID

  • bubba

    If the Libs support the crime bills they should pass them. They should have also encouraged their senate counterparts to pass them qickly. If they truly supported them. If they don’t then they should should vote against them. It is a simple choice and Canadians can and will judge them on the choice they make. Just as they will judge the CPOC on the choice to prorogue.The CPOC can argue these bills will pass faster now that the senate will support them. It may be true? Only The Lib M.P.s have the ability to stand in the way now. The senate is no longer there to be used as a smokescreen. For either side!

    • bullcaller

      @bubba,

      “If the Libs support the crime bills they should pass them.”

      Funny, “bubba”, kind of hard to support anything with the doors of parliament locked, and crime bills dead on the order paper, some of which also died the previous time Harper prorogued.

      Canadians can’t judge someone when they are unable to make the choice in the first place.

      “The CPOC can argue these bills will pass faster now that the senate will support them”

      Pardon me, “bubba” but the job of the opposition is to oppose, and to provide critique of bills the government tables. This is the way democracy works. It amazes me how the Harper conservatives have turned around expected behaviour into calling it “obstruction”. Furthermore, what was “obstructed” in the senate with regard to law and order bills exactly – the ones that took months to table, riddled with problems that eventually made it to the upper chamber only days before recess?

      Or maybe the “liberal dominated senate” also has “conservative obstructionists” too? http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Senate+trains+sights+second+Tory+crime+bill/2083066/story.html

      Just because someone is doing their job, making sure a bill isn’t full of stupid loopholes doesn’t mean they are obstructing anything, but nice try.

      If what you want is everyone to rubber stamp the Harper conservative’s bills, then this is what you get:

      http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2605456

    • Jon Pertwee

      @bubba, sure bubba. Let’s just coerce the Opposition into saving the govt’s ass from their prorogation snafu. Umm. How about no?

      Good to see you’re regurgitating the talking points here like you do on other blogs.

      • bubba

        when they are introduced. or reintroduced will the liberals vote for them or against? Choose a side and stand for your principles either way has to be more effective than what they are doing now.

        • Jon Pertwee

          @bubba, sure Bubba, let’s frame the argument in a way that totally favours you, splash some lame ass rhetoric onto it and try to sound profound.

          Talking points nonetheless, crap ones at that. Then again considering the nonsense you spout online Bubba, I’d say that a politician bought you lunch again.

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