Monday, March 7, 2011

All Eyes On Peter Milliken

In the coming days, if not weeks, the Speaker of the House is expected to rule on two different contempt of Parliament motions submitted by the opposition. One is whether or not Bev Oda is in contempt for Odagate, the other being the Harper government for prison funding secrecy-gate. The latter could trigger an election, but it is not clear when exactly the Speaker will make up his mind. Personally, I think that's a little too much power for one individual to have, but such is the nature of our democracy and he was appointed by Stephen Harper despite being a Liberal.

Regardless of what his decision is on prison funding disclosure, if this issue is the one that takes down the government it will benefit the Conservatives. The majority of Canadians want to spend more on prison infrastructure. It is entirely plausible, if not likely, that the Tories are waiting to unveil the entire program in an election campaign. They have the public on their side, and if the speaker rules them in contempt, then it will be the speaker and not the government that forces the election. It feels like a rope-A-dope.


  1. A minor correction, if you don't mind ...

    The Speaker was not appointed by PM Harper. Several MPs put up their name, there was a vote in the House by all MPs, and Milliken won that vote.

    I remember watching the proceedings on CPAC, but I'll research it to make sure my memory's not playing tricks on me.
    -- Gabby in QC

  2. Oh that people would stop using the suffix "gate" to everything from minor indiscretions to major scandals. It is meaningless as well as just plain goofy.

  3. So my memory's not playing tricks on me, I'm glad to see ... :-)
    "Election of the Speaker of the House
    The Constitution Act, 1867 requires the election of the Speaker at the beginning of a Parliament and again any time a vacancy occurs. At the beginning of a new Parliament, the Speech from the Throne will not be read until the Speaker has been elected. No other business can come before the House until the election has taken place and the Speaker has taken the Chair.
    The process for the election of the Speaker, which takes place by secret ballot, is laid out in the Standing Orders. The rules for the Speaker’s election provide for a series of run-off ballots among all eligible candidates for Speaker, until one candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes cast. ..."
    -- Gabby in QC

  4. o/t
    Last week Iffy/Rae and Dippers were demanding a 'no fly' zone in Libya.
    LibDips were highly critical of PMSHs handling of the Libyan crisis.

    This week they were all proved wrong, Libyans don't want military intervention on their soveriegn soil.
    Again, PMSHs leadership on the international scene is proven.

  5. The ruling on the Oda NOT will be this week(CTC QP Taber said)
    Ruling on the financing won't be till after the budget, NDP Joe CoMartin expects.
    Milliken is in a tough spot. After the liberal media pile on and CBC reports, how can he say anything positive and make the media out to be the liars? Milliken is retiring and he is a LIBERAL, after all, so those are all his buddies. A Rock & a Hard place.Goodale was patting the speaker on the back last week at QP. Hope it won't be a , you scratch our back get the drift.

  6. On the question of appointments ...

    At times the opposition accuses PM Harper of "stacking" the Senate or the courts with his cronies, so that they can do his bidding.

    However, this has been proven not to be the case time and again, since many of the PM's appointments have NOT made things easier for him.

    • Marc Mayrand, Chief electoral Officer
    • Kevin Page, Parliamentary Budget Officer
    • Johanne Trudel, Judge of the Federal Court of Appeal which brought down the decision overturning the previous decision on the so-called "in-and-out" controversy.
    -- Gabby in QC

  7. Proof of Liberals In & OUT

  8. who's lying...Maynard or CBC? NDP IN & OUT too..

  9. all eyes should be on this

  10. Perhaps appointed was the wrong word, but he was endorsed by Stephen Harper and would not have been the Speaker unless the PM wanted him to be.