View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – Hats Off to Milliken – Ottawa Ontario – April 28, 2010

Hats Off to Milliken by Keith Beardsley

Ottawa ON – Peter Milliken has given a reasoned explanation and defence of the superiority of the rights of Parliament. At the same time, the Speaker has asked the warring factions to get together and come up with a solution over the next two weeks. Surely, if all sides show even minimal trust in each other, a way can be found to allow MPs to view the documents, while respecting their national security implications.

PMO, represented by Ministers and departments, can not ride roughshod over Parliament and that is a good thing. MPs have to be professional and recognize that while Question Period is undoubtedly for show time, they have a duty to Canadians to work together for the common good. The Speaker has delivered a wakeup call

The sad part is that because this House is so divided and so partisan, things were allowed to reach this stage.  Unfortunately partisanship of the worst kind dominates politics right now. Already both sides are looking at potential election scenarios should no solution be reached in the next 14 days. An election that every opinion poll suggests will return another divided parliament and another minority government.

Canada doesn’t need an election over whether Parliament or the government is supreme.  Masking this with rhetoric that suggests this is only about do you support the Taliban or do you  support our troops is false.  This is about who really runs the country, our legally elected representatives or PMO as represented through the departments and ministers.

It is time for both sides to pull in their horns, look at how other countries have addressed this problem and find a solution. There can be no excuses from either side. If other countries (whose politics can be just as heated as ours) have been able to find a solution, so can we. The last thing we need with our economic recovery still fragile is a $200 million election. All sides need to remember that they were elected by us and at this critical time in our economic recovery, we want them to work together for the common good not partisan games.

Keith Beardsley is a senior strategist for True North Public Affairs in Ottawa, as well as a blogger and political analyst. He can often be found running or cycling on his favorite bike trails.


  1. Hats off to Peter Milliken indeed! Well said, Keith Beardsley. Democracy in Canada has been given CPR. Now, do we have grown-ups in the House?

  2. Many of those other countries, probably have proportional representation, hence in many cases that is the solution they found. Canada should follow suit. Then we wouldn’t have idiots like dictator harper in parliament trying to rule our lives in every aspect with his minority government. Else I fear, the Liberals and these “neo-Cons” won’t ever be able to work well together. They just take every opportunity to launch attacks at the other side while making a mockery of our parliamentary system!

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