So today in Parliament Gilles Duceppe asked the key question concerning the prohibition of staffers appearing before parliamentary committees. To paraphrase the question it was "is the government ordering its staffers to disobey the law?" The answer is, of course, yes and they know it. The law is very clear, the committees have the right to order any citizen of the country to appear and to fail to do so is contempt of parliament and can be punished by jail time. It is as simple as that and regardless of your politics, it is not more complicated. In fact the Government is already violating the law. The Ethics Committee has sent a summons to Harper's Chief of Staff, Mr. Soudas, to appear before the Committee. But the deliverer of that summons has been prevented from delivering it to its intended target. That is called 'conspiracy.'
It is clear, time and again, that this government has no respect for the law and the principles of parliament. You can argue that the staffers shouldn't be called. You can argue that the committees are partisan kangaroo courts. You can argue anything you want. The problem is that if you claim to believe in the law, to be 'tough on crime,' as the Cons always do, you can't simply ignore the laws that you don't like. By their own standards a number of the Conservative government should already be in prison.
The committees should summon the staffers and if they fail to appear they should hold them in contempt and put them in jail. But I am saying this not because I am a big supporter of a tough on crime agenda. And I agree with Martin Luther King in the belief that it is as much a moral responsibility to resist unjust laws as it is to obey just ones. But the Conservatives have never believed this and have never had much respect for Dr. King anyway. But most importantly, if the Conservatives were on the other side of the fence, so to speak, they would be going insane over these actions and they would be the first to say that 'you have to obey the law' or the 'will of the House' etc. And if you call them hypocrites in this regard, their only defense is that other people are hypocrites too. I say to those thirty percent who still support the Conservatives, your day of doom will come and when the future governments blatantly disobey the laws and use this government as the example and precedent, then all of you Harper supporters will just have to suck it up and say "well we destroyed democracy in are time so we can't complain now."