Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Contempt: The view from abroad

OK, well, abroad as in AP's report as prominently displayed on the Americas page of the New York Times anyway: "Canada’s Harper Faces Contempt Charge and Possible Election." After briefly handicapping a possible election outcome, it goes on:
Mr. Harper, however, is a center-right prime minister in a traditionally center-left country, and his plan to reduce corporate tax rates in the new budget has given the opposition, led by the left-leaning Liberals, an opening to argue that Canada, despite its economic successes, is running a record deficit that will only increase if taxes diminish.

The opposition has also criticized the prime minister for planning to spend $9 billion on 65 American-made F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, which represents one of the biggest military purchases in Canadian history. It will entail at least an additional $5 billion in maintenance costs.

The opposition has been able to paint Mr. Harper, 51, as a manipulator who resorts to questionable strategies to thwart the opposition, most notably his suspension of Parliament for three months last year to bring about a shift in house committee chairmanships.

And now his opponents have been handed the contempt accusations that portray Mr. Harper, who has not had a majority since becoming prime minister in 2006, as a highhanded leader who lacks a popular mandate. No Canadian government has ever been cited for contempt before.
Oh well, I'm sure they don't read the New York Times at the White House or in the State Department...

Here is the contempt report, courtesy of CBC's Inside Politics blog. See page 18 for Ned Franks' 5 Handy Ways to Restrain an Out of Control PMO.

Report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs: QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE RELATING TO THE FAIL...