Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Epic document struggle nearing the end?

"Federal parties close to deal on Afghan detainee docs." It sounds like the sticking point, a dispute resolution procedure over what to do with information that comes to light has been overcome:
Details have not yet been hammered out but sources say all parties are now willing to let a neutral judge or panel of experts vet which documents can be safely disclosed publicly without jeopardizing national security.

New Democrat negotiators had wanted MPs themselves to make that determination.

But they got no backing for that position from either the Liberals or Bloc Quebecois, much less the governing Conservatives.

Sources say the NDP now appears willing to go along with the consensus of the other parties.
Sounds like cause for optimism. It will be a good thing if the parties can actually work out a process on something so fundamental and not put the country needlessly into election mode (Conservatives, cough).

If this is the process that indeed results, that MPs can see these documents and there's a process to ensure national security concerns, if any, are looked after, then what an utter waste of time the government will have put everyone through. In making Members of Parliament spend countless hours arguing for basic rights to which they're already entitled. In putting everyone through the drama of obtaining an historic Speaker's ruling affirming those rights. This process could have been started long ago.

So, seems like good news but still, nothing's ever easy with this brinksmanship Harper government.