Tuesday, June 15, 2010

NDP Drop out of Afghan Docs negotiations

From the CBC:

The NDP has withdrawn from the all-party negotiations being held to ensure MPs get access to thousands of uncensored documents relating to Afghan detainee transfers.

New Democrat representative Jack Harris emerged from a Tuesday morning all-party meeting and said he believed the other three parties would soon announce they have reached an agreement. But he said the deal on the table is too narrow and the party can't support it.
The CBC article goes on to say that the Conservatives have been pushing to keep some documents out of the hands of MPs still. Something odd is going on here, to be sure.

But, was it really a smart decision for the NDP to be the first to drop out? I'm really not so sure. If the Liberals, Bloc and Conservatives manage to reach a deal, as Harris believes they will, this leaves the NDP out of the loop - not a good position to be in. Any information which comes out, any strides that this deal makes, the NDP won't end up getting any benefit or credit. However, this isn't something the Conservatives should be happy about, either: the NDP would still vote with the Opposition on any contempt motion.

Now, what happens if the deal doesn't happen, or negotiations drag on? How would the loss of the NDP at the table directly affect the Liberals? What happens if the Bloc leaves? The Liberals couldn't afford the loss of a contempt motion - but they also can't rush into an election. They're beating to the specific drum of a fall election (in my opinion), and so far, sticking to this schedule seems to be the smart thing to do. But, if the Bloc drops out and no deal is reached, the Liberals will be stuck between a rock and a hard place - it's simply not a win-win situation for us.

We need to be real careful about what happens in the next couple of days. Let's hope they reach a deal.


Afghan deal reached.

Looks like the NDP will be missing out.


  1. I'd like to see "contempt of Parliament" charges, and would LOVE to see the arrest of Con MPs... live on TV... Then an election... The public would be pissed about being bothered during "Fake Lake Season"...

  2. These are things anyone would love, WesternGrit. It's practically a dream. But, alas, we have to work within the bounds of reality. The deal reached is good enough.