(Click here for ITQ’s borderline obsessive coverage of this ongoing drama.)
A show of spine from the Liberals in this week’s Hill Times:
Liberal Whip Rodger Cuzner (Cape Breton-Canso, N.S.), whom Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion (Saint-Laurent-Cartierville, Que.) appointed last week, said his party’s critics have not yet been assigned and therefore committee memberships have not been allocated. He said it would not make sense for the Conservatives to have a majority on committees because they do not have a majority government. “I think the purpose of committees, especially the ones that we hold the chairmanship, is to reflect the make up of Parliament and the Conservatives don’t hold a majority within the Parliament of Canada. So that’s something that will be discussed and negotiated. Just because it’s the will of the government, doesn’t make it so,” he said.
Also, someone might want to explain what’s at stake to the newly appointed Conservative Whip Gordon O’Connor, who doesn’t seem to realize the strategic advantage that an extra seat would give the government on opposition-chaired committees:
Mr. O’Connor told The Hill Times last week that House committees have not yet been set up and despite media reports last week indicating that the Conservatives would attempt to get a majority on some of them, membership still has to be sorted out and negotiated.
“I don’t see how that’s possible. A committee is 12. To get a majority, you need seven, so I don’t see how that would happen. We have to negotiate this with the other parties and we’ll see what the end results are,” he said.