The Power of Parliament

I’d like to say a big thank you to Liberal MPs who, working with MPs from the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Quebecois, pushed forward a parliamentary motion which compels various ministries to release uncensored documents on allegations of prisoner abuses in Afghanistan. I greatly appreciate that the government’s shameful attempt to block a proper investigation on this matter — even by officials who have all of the proper security clearances to view said documents — has been beaten back, and I especially appreciate that MPs have finally shown that parliament itself has constitutional powers, and that this country isn’t run by fiat from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Still, I have to wonder at the closeness of the vote. The motion passed by a hair’s breadth of 145-143. I’m sure the Conservatives probably whipped their caucus and brought forward a full house, but last time I checked, opposition MPs controlled 163 seats to the Conservatives’ 145.

It’s something to pay attention to. In parliament, as in life, some things only happen if you bother to show up.

Further Reading

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