Towards an understanding of the understanding (II)

At my request, a few thoughts from Lorne Sossin on the Conservative-Liberal-Bloc memorandum of understanding.

The reference to the solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality (para. 7) potentially could be used to shield much of the material which is at the heart of the debate, but I think these are issues which cannot be ignored, and the delegation of decision-making over them outside a partisan framework to a panel of independent arbiters, guided by the overall goal of maximizing disclosure and transparency, is a fair and reasonable solution to a thorny dilemma. It also, however, puts additional pressure on the selection of the arbiters and the need for these individuals to enjoy broad credibility and trust across party lines.