The curtailment of debate

The House will spend Friday debating an NDP motion on the use of time allocation and closure.

That, in the opinion of the House, the thorough examination and debate of proposed legislation on behalf of Canadians is an essential duty of Members of Parliament, and that the curtailment of such debate limits the ability of Members to carry out this duty and constitutes an affront to Canadian democracy; and, therefore,

That the Speaker undertake a study and make recommendations to amend the Standing Orders with respect to closure and time allocation, such that: (i) a Minister would be required to provide justification for the request for such a curtailment of debate; (ii) the Speaker would be required to refuse such a request in the interest of protecting the duty of Members to examine legislation thoroughly, unless the government’s justification sufficiently outweighs the said duty; (iii) criteria would be set out for assessing the government’s justification, which would provide the Speaker with the basis for a decision to allow for the curtailment of debate;




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The curtailment of debate

  1. Government justify actions and/or decisions? That is no longer part of our Westminster system…

  2. Pre-2006 Stephen Harper would have voted for this in a heartbeat.

  3. Sometimes I feel the NDP responds to proceduralproblems in the House with solutions that overshoot the mark and might  be too strong a cure.  But this seems reasonable.

  4. So the NDP want us to be like the USA??????
     
     
    “From a Canadian perspective, one of the more striking things about this fiscal debate in U.S. politics is how it contrasts with the recent debate about the use of closure by the Harper government.
     
    In Washington, no amount of time seems to be enough to put in place an economic plan because both parties can’t agree or won’t agree – but fundamentally need to agree for anything to get done. American politics has become a system of lots of cheques, but few balances.
     
    Here in Canada, the Conservatives bridle at the amount of time it takes them to get their economic legislation passed. But there is no doubt it will be passed.
     
    And that’s not just because the Conservatives have a majority now. Even before the election result, there was more huffing and puffing than actually blowing the House down when it came to opposition resistance to Stephen Harper’s economic plans. Compared to the dug-in, daggers-drawn phenomenon that is modern day Washington, here in Ottawa there really wasn’t much daylight between the parties on the size of the stimulus program or the resulting fiscal issues.
     
    In Canada, voters on the right and those on the left disagree to be sure – but except for the hardest of hardcore partisans, the differences are more often questions of degree than direction. When Canada faced a fiscal crisis more than 15 years ago, there was pretty broad agreement around the kind of policies the country needed to embrace.”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/bruce-anderson/a-tale-of-two-democracies-harper-steamrolls-obama-grinds-gears/article2247408/

    • The NDP would like Parliament to be more like that of a democracy.  Any resemblance to American practice is coincidental.

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