Thursday, February 25, 2010

Harper's respect for Parliament failing another test

It looks like all of the opposition parties will oppose the appointment of Gérard Latulippe to head the embattled Rights & Democracy group. Yet the Harper government is obliged to consult with Parliament on the choice. So the question: will that requirement to consult mean anything, substantively, to Stephen Harper's practice of minority government?
The federal government is obligated to consult with Parliament, aka the opposition, on Latulippe's appointment, but that doesn't mean that the other parties have a veto, or that Latulippe need be subjected to some kind of confirmation hearing.
It should mean something. But it likely won't. That requirement was clearly placed in the law which created the group in order to encourage the selection of a nonpartisan leadership choice. Such quaint requirements in Canadian law, meeting their match these days in the form of the Harper government who care not a whit about the intent of such provisions.

Gilles Duceppe even went so far as to suggest a number of choices yesterday for consideration, including Flora MacDonald, Joe Clark and Barbara McDougall. They're all likely too independent minded for a Harper stamp of approval though. This government is, at the end of the day, unreasonable. They don't do reason.