Speaking of constitutional crises - Macleans.ca

Speaking of constitutional crises


Canadian Press sums up the struggle over crime legislation in the Senate thusly.

Conservatives rejected a bid Thursday to expedite a key piece of their tough-on-crime agenda, even as they continued to bash Liberal senators for holding up the legislation…

At issue are amendments to the bill proposed by Liberal senators on the legal and constitutional affairs committee. They want offenders to be given 1.5 days credit for each day spent in pre-trial custody, which Nicholson maintains would gut the bill. Senator Joan Fraser, the Liberal committee chair, twice sought unanimous consent Thursday for the upper chamber to deal with the amendments by the end of the day. That would have cleared the way for the final debate and vote on the bill on Friday.

The Tories’ deputy leader in the Senate, Gerald Comeau, refused. He said Conservatives would agree to expedite the bill only if Liberals would agree, in effect, to drop the amendments. Moreover, Comeau then moved to adjourn the Senate until Oct. 20. The bill will now languish until then… Ironically, Liberal insiders believe the amendments are likely to be defeated and the bill passed, as is.

Dale Smith rants against various parties to this dispute, including the Globe and Mail.


Speaking of constitutional crises

  1. Ban the Senate. Better yet, zero out their salaries.

  2. "Manitoba Premier Gary Doer chimed in, saying the Liberal senators' proposed amendments to the bill demonstrate why "the Senate should be abolished." "

    Yeah, I'm just as confused as Dale Smith over this one.

  3. Yeah, sure, remove the only effective check on the PMO's power. Go crazy.

  4. The heck happen to the G&M anyways? Ever since the shakeup they've been reporting like they've got a dog in the fight.

  5. It's troubling that the Cons are playing politics with the justice system, as is the push polling the Cons are engaging in.

    • Playing politics? Internal politics maybe. Who put in the amendments against the wishes of their own leader?

      And somehow you are surprised that the conservatives do not want to fast track a bill with these amendments?

  6. It's hard to sort out all the games being played here. But it sure looks like it reinforces the two narratives of "the Liberals being soft on crime", and "Ignatieff being a weak leader".

    Just about everybody seems to be ganging up on Iggy now. Hard to see how he hangs on beyond Flaherty's spring budget (if it passes).

    • No, it sure looks like it reinforces the narrative of Conservatives making stuff up and playing politics.

      What else could you conclude when the Liberals introduce a motion to expedite voting and the Conservatives vote against speeding things up, and then the Conservatives adjourn the senate altogether for a week or so.

      And just for the record, this "soft on crime" thing you are talking about, can you point out any crime bills (or bill-ettes really, because none of them have been very substantial) that Ignatieff has opposed?

      Another example of the Conservatives trying to appear to be "tough on criminals" but "soft on crime".

  7. If I heard correctly (on PP) a number of Lib Senators went for lunch,
    and the remaining Lib Senators said, ok, let's get this passed while the others are missing.

    And if Conservative Senators had jumped at the chance,
    the next thing would be Liberal cries of dirty tricks.

  8. "… can you point out any crime bills (or bill-ettes really, because none of them have been very substantial) that Ignatieff has opposed? "

    Check out this website, of Iggy's voting record for each of the four sessions of Parliament, since he was first elected in 2006.


    There's quite a few "No" and "Absent/Abstained" votes by him, on bills and motions, like:

    Conditional Sentencing —Abs
    Minimum Penalties for Firearms Crimes — No
    Motor Vehicle Theft — No
    Minimum sentence for trafficking minors — Abs

    There's more, but I can't be bothered.

  9. Why would the conservatives want to fast track the amended bill which they do not support?

  10. GO SENATE!

  11. *sigh* now CP's misread of Tory spin means somebody's going to have to stay late to set them straight.