REPORTING · 24th June 2011
In a move reminiscent of old style Liberal and Progressive Conservative majority and opposition governments of the past the Federal NDP is engaged in a “Filibuster’.
This action is performed when a ruling government is attempting to pass legislation so offensive to the opposition party that they stand and take turns talking. They are allowed to do this as long as they want. Only if they run out of things to say deciding to quit or if the majority government decides to invoke what is called ‘Closure’ will this end.
The NDP decided to engage in this practice after the majority conservative government chose to force back to work legislation on the postal workers. One of the more offensive parts of this legislation proposed by Prime Minister Harpers Conservative Party is to force the postal workers back to work with a rate of pay less than what the Post Office had already offered.
The NDP have also been good to their word. The leader, Jack Layton, promised to make the House of Commons, the Federal Parliament Chambers, perform more respectfully. And the debate which has gone on all night demonstrates this. Unlike the Conservatives and the Liberals who would pick up a phone book and read it simply to extend the time of the debate, using anything to delay the eventual passing of the law by the majority ruling party, the NDP are all talking about the subject, the law the government is attempting to pass.
The new young NDP Members of Parliament are proving to be an asset to the NDP as they have the energy and the stamina to keep this up. New thoughts and ideas are coming forward from fresh young minds. This may be the start of a change in the Canadian Democracy as young people begin to see their fellow young citizens take a lead role and prove they can get involved and they can make a difference.
Watch the debate as it continues by clicking on the banner above.
On the other hand.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 26th June 2011
Our democratic institutions are modeled after the British parliamentary system. It is the tradition that the government decides what the House will talk about but the opposition decides how long that debate will take place. Closing off debate by the government is generally viewed as undemocratic. There is nothing disrespectful about a filibuster. It might be annoying to conservatives but in reality it is just as disrespectful of the conservatives to legislate workers back to work with less in the contract than the employer had offered. That tactic is ruthlessly arrogant and worthy of discussion.
Even if the conservatives succeed, which they inevitably will in this case, there will be a price paid for their arrogance and the NDP has at least proven itself, even with all the rookies in its caucus, that they are up to the task. The conservatives just got a wake up call as this will not be business as usual for Stephen Harper.
Comment by paul on 25th June 2011
Really unsure how you belive the filibuster is respectful.They have a right to continue the shahanaigin,but while the soacialists display their ignorance of the issue,the people they claim to be fighting for continue to remain unpaid.
It's really a pathetic attempt to play house by a bunch of ideologs without a sense of te big picture.