Who's in charge? Parliament or the PM? - Macleans.ca

Who’s in charge? Parliament or the PM?

Ruling on Afghan detainee documents will establish boundaries on government authority


House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken will reportedly deliver a landmark ruling on the powers of Parliament Tuesday afternoon which could establish whether the prime minister has the authority to keep confidential documents on Afghan detainee transfers out of the hands of his fellow parliamentarians. The opposition parties passed a motion requesting unredacted copies of the documents but their request has so far been thwarted by the government, which claims their release could compromise national security. As a result, the opposition has asked Milliken to rule on whether Stephen Harper’s refusal to hand them over amounts to being in contempt of Parliament.

Globe and Mail

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Who’s in charge? Parliament or the PM?

  1. In a parliamentary system, seems to me that this should be a no-brainer. Parliament is in charge.

  2. Is this a trick question…? The PM who is the leader of the present day MINORITY government needs to work with parliament, not in contempt of it. In fact I recall the "present" PM saying so quite loudly as the leader of the opposition some time ago. This is clearly Harper showing contempt to the people of Canada!

  3. I certainly hope he does the right thing. He not only has to rule with a view to this government situation, but also with the foresight as to how it's going to affect future governments.

    If he rules in Harper's favour, there will be no future governments, just Harper – for ever and ever.

  4. The answer?

    Parliament .

  5. What a joke. I mean, an effin' joke. We are a parliamentary system, we elect parliamentarians, whom in turn are accountable to us. It seems, as mentioned above, a no-brainer.

    No wonder people don't have faith in politicians anymore: none of them stand for anything other than doing as little as possible so as to not offend anyone so as to get re-elected.

    This was a golden opportunity for a politician to stand up and say, you know what, as properly designed, we are accountable to the people and lies, deceit, and manipulation is not how this chamber should work.

    Instead? Two more weeks to work out something that couldn't be figured out in the last four almost five months.

    My next vote belongs to jellyfish; more spine than any politician (and I belong to a political party as well!)

  6. Apparently, the PM doesn't just get granted the blank cheque he had hoped for. I would have hoped that those we elect could have solved this without getting the "teacher" involved in their playground dispute, but apparently not.

    I loved Milliken's comment about some MPs not being as "trustworthy" as they should be. Now there's a shocker! Wonder who he was looking at when he said that.

    It will be an interesting couple of weeks.


  7. Now we know: Parilament.

  8. That's vury inciteful.

  9. ewps. Parliament.

  10. harper is in contempt and should be charged for breach of trust and preventing normal flow of information to parliament and the due process of law and possible compromise of nation security ….you people think you have everything solved when it is a cat and mouse game..game on how one interprets and use and abuse of authority

  11. hitler was taken down from the inside and so should this lil dic…….tator, harper

  12. Lame but obvious response from Milliken. He's tried to sit as squarely on the fence as possible, but ultimately, it seems the Conservatives have the most to lose from a continued impasse. Could have done a lot worse. Hopefully this doesn't dominate news for the next two weeks.

    Wouldn't it be great to do some policy work?

  13. Its so Nieve of Canadains and especially the Policticians , To be All Treated Like Puppets by Harper, It,s the same old crap, just like Bush made the decisions , Harpers the King of the Hill, & All of us Canadains are Idoit's to follow.

  14. If this were the case that the PM couldn't trust parliment with matters of national security, then just what the hell is going on? Or does our PM believe that his royal subjects are so stupid? Hail Harper… hail the new Canadian Riech!!!