Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Executive Power and the Canadian Parliament

Earlier this year I posted about the current stand off between the Canadian Parliament and the Conservative Government. Parliament sought documents related to Canada's treatment of detainees from military combat in Afghanistan, but the Government refused to hand those documents over, citing among other things, statutory duties concerning national security.  Eventually, with opposition Liberal MP Derek Lee leading the charge, a contempt motion was tabled in Parliament, and now the House Speaker will soon decide if the Harper Government is in "contempt" of Parliament by refusing to hand over the documents.
The Globe's John Ibbitson and the Star's Susan Delacourt weigh in on this momentously important decision. While I'm not sure Canadian democracy "hangs in the balance" as some have been saying, a measure of Parliament's democratic authority and centrality in the Canadian government certainly does.

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