The neutered Parliament?

At the end of this Globe report on moves toward greater cooperation among parliamentary watchdogs, Pat Martin concedes a rather large point.

NDP MP Pat Martin, who chairs the government operations committee, expressed concern at how some senior officials view the work of the agents. He said the number of agents should be expanded by making the Parliamentary Budget Officer a fully independent agent.

“Let’s face it: Parliament has become less and less effective by design,” he said. “We’ve been neutralized to such a large extent in recent years that, if it wasn’t for officers of Parliament, the taxpayer would have no friends at all.”