How to answer a question

From Question Period this afternoon, the definitive moment of this particular moment in our collective history.

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the faulty deal that the Prime Minister signed with the coalition of the unwilling shows why only a judicial inquiry is ever going to get to the bottom of the Afghan torture scandal. The government tried to silence diplomat Richard Colvin, who was trying to blow the whistle on torture. DND officials were sending memos begging to silence him. Why did the government reassign people who were trying to raise the issue of torture? Why did it want to stop Richard Colvin from exposing the truth and reporting on what he saw?

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC): Mr. Speaker, three political parties worked to get a responsible resolution of this question. Unfortunately, the NDP did not, but why would we be surprised? The deputy leader of the NDP knew full well what she was saying. She made statements that could have been made by Hamas, Hezbollah or anybody else with no repercussions from that party whatsoever. I hope the leader of the NDP will come clean and actually face up to his responsibilities on that question. While I am on my feet, I also hope that he will help us pass a reform of the pardon system, which Canadians have been waiting weeks for.

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