6

BTC: ‘Complicit in the murder of thousands’


 

As part of the Parliamentary process, the population is permitted to petition the House of Commons—formal, signed requests read into the record by MPs during time allotted most days for such presentations. For those of you so interested, the copious rules pertaining to the petitioning process are printed online.

Anyway. This is perhaps not terribly exciting stuff. Checking Hansard for the last Thursday before Parliament adjourned in June, I see that petitions were presented on Darfur and the environment and gas prices and the CBC radio orchestra.

But on June 10, the NDP’s Libby Davies rose with this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r6DK_jTVcA
 

Well. Setting aside, for a moment, the relevant concerns for animal cruelty and natural health products, that first one was a bit, well, noteworthy, no?

Here’s the official explanation from Ms. Davies’ office, excerpted from an email exchange with her legislative assistant. “For the record, Libby reading a petition should in no way be construed as an endorsement of it’s contents. Libby considers it an MP’s duty to present petitions from consituents, even on positions she does not necessarily support, provided the petitions are not derogatory or offensive. Libby introduces dozens of petitions every year –  it’s routine business, and generally not a big deal from our perspective.” 

I suppose if there is a quibble here it might be with how one defines derogatory and offensive.

(Coincidentally, Ms. Davies represents Vancouver East, which is adjacent to Vancouver Centre, which is currently being prepared for the arrival of Michael Byers.)


 

BTC: ‘Complicit in the murder of thousands’

  1. Tempest in a Teapot.

    I used to work for an M.P. and you can’t really justify turning down a petition with that many signatures unless it’s got swear words or calling for criminal acts or some such thing.

    I certainly don’t agree with that petition and wouldn’t sign it, but I think Libby Davies is being a responsable M.P. for tabling it.

  2. Have to agree with John A. This is a big part of the “representative” side of representative democracy. If Libby organized and circulated the petition that’s one thing, but if it was organized and sent to her to present in the House as the M.P. for one of the petition organizers … well I also worked on the Hill for many years, and I can’t think of too many if any cases where the M.P.s would refuse to present it on behalf of their constituents. Nor should they.

  3. Oh, and one of the Parliamentary rulebooks (Beauchesne? Maingot?) even specifies that the M.P. need not agree with the point of the petition to present it on behalf of citizens. Not sure I could locate the reference just now, but it’s there somewhere.

  4. Agree with the other commentators. When I worked on the Hill, I remember my boss holding her nose and presenting a petition she did not agree with. The presentation of petitions is one of the few honourable, democratic, and non-partisan aspects left in house proceedings. Until Pierre “Peter Pepper” Poilievre presents his upcoming petition slamming all those individuals who disagree with him, or whatever nonsense he is bound to come up with.

  5. I have never really thought about this issue, and generally agree with the commenters above.

    That being said, I must say, I am quite impressed with Aaron Wherry’s ability to find news and topics to blog about in early July.

    BTC 12 months a year.

  6. It seems derogatory and offensive to trivialize the violent deaths of several thousand innocent people.

Sign in to comment.