Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Parliamentary procedure question

This was stated yesterday in the House of Commons during the census debate:
"Let me put this question ... to any member of the Liberal-Bloc or NDP coalition partners: If someone in one of your ridings does not want to complete the 40 pages of personal, private questions ... is it the appropriate government response to harass them until they relent and comply?" Clement said in the Commons.
Clement is referring to a "coalition" by name. But as we know, that's misinformation, there is no official or formal "coalition." He's not making an argument or debating the point, he's stating that one exists. This has been cropping up frequently from the government members of late.

It's worth asking then whether one of the opposition members should raise this in the proper manner, whatever that may be, whether as a matter of parliamentary privilege or seeking a Speaker's ruling that the Conservatives cease and desist from using the word in this manner. Or, perhaps, seek to have the Speaker enforce his earlier ruling that might cover this situation. They have been warned twice in recent memory to refrain from playing partisan games in the House of Commons with personal attacks, this seems to be a variation on their similar tactics.

(h/t to a certain blogger out there presently on hiatus)