Via Jean-François Lisée over at our French-language sister site comes video evidence the Conservative script for explaining last December’s prorogation still has a few holes in it. During a panel discussion alongside opposition MPs on Radio-Canada this past Monday, Steven Blaney, the chair of the Quebec Conservative caucus, was forced to rely on the escape hatch of last resort: make things up as you go along.
Blaney baldly stated bills that were on the order paper would be “automatically re-activated” once Parliament comes back and that shutting everything down simply “prevents debates from going on forever.”
Of course, as his fellow panelists were all too eager to point out, and as everyone with even a passing interest in these things is seemingly aware, that’s patently untrue. (Though, to give Blaney credit, it’s true that prorogation prevents debates from dragging on, if only because it prevents them from taking place at all.) Blaney’s baffling ignorance of parliamentary procedure should perhaps come as no surprise given his other justifications for his extended winter vacation:
* “Stephen Harper is showing leadership.”
* “Our role as parliamentarians isn’t to kill time in Ottawa, it’s to deliver results… Right now, it’s to consult with our people on the budget, solve constituent issues, take care of immigration cases.”
* “What [constituents] want is a government and parliamentarians that deliver the goods.”
As Blaney so succinctly put it, “don’t take Canadians and Quebecers for a bunch of idiots.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.