Roundup: Not another special committee

And so the filibuster over potential changes to the Standing Orders rolls on, with no end in sight. Opposition House leaders presented an open letter yesterday calling for a new special committee to examine the issue with an eye to ensuring that it only comes out with recommendations achieved by consensus, but I’m not sure how bright of an idea that really is. After all, they’ll demand that it be composed in a similar manner to the Electoral Reform committee (to be faux-“proportional” and to get buy-in from the Bloc and Elizabeth May, naturally), and they’ll spend months and months hearing all kinds of expert testimony about how great parliamentary or legislative rules are in other countries only to doubtlessly come up with some the same kind of non-consensus that the ERRE report did, that every party will walk away from.

Bardish Chagger isn’t backing down, incidentally, and keeps insisting she wants a dialogue but won’t commit to consensus, probably because a) the committee look into making the Commons more “family friendly” wound up being a bust – which is for the best, really; and b) because she wants to try and fulfil the half-baked election promise about doing some kind of parliamentary reform, never mind that no reform is actually necessary of the kind that she’s proposing (with the exception of restoring prorogation ceremonies – that one we do need).

But I will reiterate yet again that our problem is cultural. Looking at rule changes won’t fix the underlying cultural problems, and this will be just another months-long waste of time when what all parties need to be doing is getting back to the core of Westminster parliamentarianism, and doing the sensible things of banning scripts and speaking lists, throwing out the time limits that obligate MPs to fill the time rather than engaging in spontaneous debate, and actually taking the legislative process seriously, which means ending the insane (and inane) focus on endless Second Reading debate. Repeating the ERRE exercise for the Standing Orders is just a black hole to be avoided, and all parties should back away from this fight (especially the Liberals).

Good reads:

  • The RCMP had admitted to using cellphone catchers, but insist they only have collected metadata and destroy it once the cases are completed.
  • The soon-to-be-announced internal trade deal could pave the way for a cross-country marijuana market.
  • The government’s expert panel on environmental assessment laws reported back, and said the current timelines are too short to be effective.
  • The Star has been digging into Senator Don Meredith’s expenses and public record to find his use of public resources for his alleged sexual liaison.
  • Senator Lynn Beyak has been removed from the Aboriginal Peoples committee.
  • There are accusations that Catherine McKenna’s social media videos to talk about the budget are really just self-promotion.
  • Following accusations that those fraudulent Conservative memberships were from Tamil organizers, other Tamils say they want the investigation made public.
  • A former Liberal insider-turned-medical marijuana entrepreneur is suing several Conservatives including Rona Ambrose for saying he engaged in insider trading.
  • Here’s a look at new Liberal MP Emmanuella Lambropoulos.
  • Scott Gilmore carries on his conversation about the Conservative Party’s malaise, and how gay rights and the environment should be Conservative issues.
  • Brent Rathegeber, incidentally, seems to agree with Gilmore.
  • Chantal Hébert says that the bonus incident may tarnish Bombardier’s future pleas for loans or bail-outs.

Odds and ends:

Tristin Hopper digs into Library and Archives Canada’s collection of erotica.