Friday, March 10, 2006

The ethics of obstruction

The Globe and Mail reports on the likely status of the Cons' proposes accountability legislation - and while the Libs seem determined to gum up the works, the NDP isn't going to undermine needed legislation simply to try to make Harper look all the worse:
"It would seem to me now that we've seen Mr. Harper's position with respect to Dr. Shapiro that the accountability package is going to be much more controversial than originally anticipated," Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale said yesterday...

The section promising to strengthen the role of the Ethics Commissioner could bog down debate in the House.

The section would prevent the Prime Minister from overruling the commissioner, something the opposition says Mr. Harper has essentially done in refusing to co-operate with Mr. Shapiro's investigation of David Emerson's cabinet appointment.

NDP ethics critic Pat Martin dismissed Mr. Goodale's comments, saying the NDP was likely to support most of the Tory provisions, including pledges to strengthen the commissioner's office.

"We're not interested in playing games with this bill," Mr. Martin said. "We genuinely and sincerely want to see these reforms take place."
The combination of seemingly scoring political points and facing a lesser degree of accountability next time they win office again may well cause the Libs to try to fight against the legislation. But for those of us primarily interested in making sure that Canada's government works, the best course of action is to make sure the bill passes and is backed up with proper enforcement mechanisms - not to claim that the current PM's failure to adhere to the terms of the bill somehow makes accountability a bad thing.

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