Thursday, November 26, 2009

Conservatives should really learn to take "no" for an answer

Update (8:55 p.m.) below.

Pushing back hard achieves results: "Speaker rules flyers may have damaged MP's reputation."

A clear ruling by the Speaker in response to MP Irwin Cotler's complaint on the egregious ten percenters authored by the Conservative party:
The Conservatives may have damaged the reputation of Liberal MP Irwin Cotler by sending taxpayer-funded flyers into his Montreal-area riding which suggested the Opposition party was anti-Semitic, Speaker of the House of Commons Peter Milliken ruled Thursday.

"In my view, the end result was a negative effect that spilled over to (Cotler) in a very direct and personal way," said Milliken in his ruling. "Therefore, I must conclude that the member for Mount Royal, on the face of it, has presented a convincing argument that the mailing constitutes interference with his ability to perform his parliamentary functions in that its content is damaging to his reputation and credibility."

Milliken said that any reasonable person who had read the Conservative pamphlet would be confused about Cotler's actual views, opening the door for federal politicians to investigate the matter in a parliamentary committee.
The "incontrovertible facts" as Jason Kenney insists were innocently laid out as a manner of putative regular political discourse just don't seem to have been bought by the Speaker at all. Not so incontrovertible.

Instead of squirming and fighting the ruling, a little bit of respect and decorum for the institutions of parliament and their fellow parliamentarians might be in order now that their ugly tactics have been called out by the Speaker.

Update (8:55 p.m.): BCL draws attention to this event too.

Now wondering whether a lawsuit will follow, in addition to whatever the parliamentary committee comes up with, given the content of the ruling.