Monday, February 26, 2007

Self-interest trumps integrity

Today's Hill Times reminds us that the measures that were brought in as part of the Anti-Terrorism Act by the Liberals are set to expire on March 1. A vote is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. (You can access the HT article via National Newswatch - "Dion's Whipped Anti-Terror Law Divisive...")

For some reason, Stephane Dion as chosen to frame this issue as a pivotal test of his leadership and caucus loyalty, even though Liberal opposition to his three-line whip and subsequent threats is well known and even extends into the Liberal-dominated Senate:


Ontario Liberal Senator David Smith denied that the Liberal caucus is divided or that this issue is affecting the morale of the caucus members.

"I haven't sensed that. These things aren't totally black and white. There's a range of opinions on it but our caucus is very supportive of our leader. I support him 150 per cent and he'll get through this complicated, tricky issue in a way that's reasonable and responsible," Sen. Smith told The Hill Times.

Sen. Smith, who chaired the special Senate Committee on the Anti-terrorism Act last week, recommended that the two controversial measures be extended for three years.


Excuse me, but I detect a disconnect somewhere there. I suppose though, in the world of Liberal-think it makes some kind of sense.


In any case, as the Hill Times has apparently talked to a top Liberal source who supports a renewal of the anti-terrorism clauses:


..."It's a mistake, it's divisive and has affected the morale of the caucus. If this was brand new legislation and the Liberals didn't have their fingerprints all over it from before, then it would be different but it's not. The majority of the people who are in the House now on the Liberal side were there when this legislation was passed by the Liberals"...

Since Dion has threatened to refuse to sign nomination papers for anyone who opposes him, his caucus now has no option. They either follow the leader or they cross the floor.

And in the case of Senator Smith, he must feel that party solidarity trumps all else, and thus his 150% support.

Why this issue Stephane? Why??? What are you not telling us?


* * * *

Update: Courtesy of National Newswatch - Charles Adler - "Stephane Who?"



Check out Olaf's latest post - Dion and the ATA...

CNews
- Grits say no to changes. Dion has his heels dug in.

34 comments:

Steph said...

Maybe this is Dion's attempt to change the public opinion that he's just a one-issue enviromentalist.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Steph, yes he could be trying to change the channel. But he sure is choosing a strange issue with which to do it.

Anonymous said...

it reminds me of a spoiled teenager not getting enough attention, going out and smashing a window,

at this point, any attention is better than none, even if its just plain wrong.

Course I read the comment post somewhere saying that someone in Dion's voting bloc is going to spill the beans on a deal on Air India. That would be interesting, no?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

it reminds me of a spoiled teenager not getting enough attention, going out and smashing a window,

Reminds me of Garth Turner; holding a sit-in.

Course I read the comment post somewhere saying that someone in Dion's voting bloc is going to spill the beans on a deal on Air India. That would be interesting, no?

I have heard these rumours too. The implications are tantalizing.

molarmauler said...

All Dion has to do is make a coherent argument why he is so against the provisions and this story will go away for him.

I bet he can't.

What possible arguments does he have?

1) It is against our rights! Nope. Provisions come with the seal of approval of the SCC.

2) I am the anti-Harper! Blind opposition is no opposition, especially when it comes to the safety of our citizens and our neighbors.

3) I want to show I am a leader! Wow, these possible reasons just keep getting weaker and weaker.

4) MacKenzie Kings' mother is speaking to me from beyond! Bingo! There's a good reason.


Fact is, until he makes a compelling case for this insane, party-damaging and self-damaging flip flop, we have to assume it's a political payoff.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Molar - #5) Kyoto made him do it.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

BTW, I think Bains should abstain from this vote.

molarmauler said...

LOL Joanne :D
Kyoto knows how to throw his voice and sound like King's dead mother. Smart diog!!

Gabby in QC said...

I don't know that I understand fully the implications of the Anti-Terrorism Act & the sunset clauses.

What I find interesting, though, is what I heard in a discussion between a law professor & a criminology professor (both at the Université de Montreal) on Rad-Can (second hour of broadcast, @ about the 12:20 mark)
http://tinyurl.com/yvc3vq

I learned that the following democracies also have "preventive detention" measures:
Canada: 72 hrs
France: 4 days
Spain: 13 days
Australia: 14 days
Britain: 28 days
USA: more than a month
Germany: 6 months
Italy: 2 yrs

Also, if I understand Craig Forcese's National Post article:
http://tinyurl.com/yovj2r
"preventive detention" is already covered under section 83.3 of the Criminal Code.

In other words, "preventive detention" is not as draconian as Mr. Dion portrays it to be. Even France has the same provision (96 hours to Canada's 72 hours). Is Mr. Dion implying that France does not respect human rights?

molarmauler said...

Your local cop can hold you for 24 hrs without a charge Gabby as well.

72 hours for a suspected terrorist does not seem so big a stretch.

Dion has no coherent reason for sunsetting these provisions other than politics; the type of politics is the only question.

Politics over safety.

Anonymous said...

"I support him 150 per cent and he'll get through this complicated, tricky issue in a way that's reasonable and responsible," Sen. Smith told The Hill Times."

So this is something Dion needs to get through??? Is he having issues??? How narcissistic. It's all about him.

Security of Canadians doesn't matter. It's just something he has to get through. Someone pass a wet washcloth and vapours. He's going to faint from all of the stress, the poor dear.

Anonymous said...

72 hours for a suspected terrorist doesn't seem long enough, because you're dealing with a network of terrorists behind him/her. It just occurred to me that I tend to think of terrorists as male, but what a network of support there could be in the female persuasion of their camp.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gabby, as always, thanks for the links and additional info.

The more I learn about this, the more perplexed I become that Dion would have an issue with the extension of these never-abused anti-terror laws.

Of course the "Investigative hearings" part of the provisions is the one that seems to have the Air India families concerned.

Gary Goodyear was on a local talkshow this morning and said something to the effect that the Liberals gave the impression that they were going to support the extension of the provisions, and then they suddenly did a flip-flop. They are now saying that if there were changes they 'might' look at the situation differently, but of course there is no time now. The deadline is March 1, and Gary Goodyear says it is a "lightswitch" decision, inasmuch as it is "on-off". Changes could apparently be made after the fact if the laws were kept on the books, but once they're off, that's it.

john said...

"Reminds me of Garth Turner; holding a sit-in."

C'mon, Joanne, Garth's a quick study on his new leader's line. They're just being mean to him, and it's, well, IT'S UNFAIR!

Seriously though, I can't wait for the next election so I can help put that ego out of the news.

Gabby in QC said...

As always, Joanne, thanks for allowing me to post my bits of research.

Hello, Molarmauler:
"Your local cop can hold you for 24 hrs without a charge ..."

Yes, I understand that's for the regular run of the mill criminal who is accused of having committed a crime.

But the "preventive detention" - by its very name - seems to indicate someone suspected of wanting to commit a crime of terrorism. As I said at the outset, though, I don't really understand all the fine points. And apparently, neither does Mr. Dion.

PGP said...

"...I support him 150 per cent..." Says sen. David Smith!
The innumerate improbability of the statement LOOMS LARGE!
Or is he really saying that he expects the rest of us to contribute 30% of his intention?
Liberal Idiots and hypocrites living off your tax dollars!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gabby, yes, I think Molar was agreeing with you. I believe he was saying that since you can already legally hold someone for 24 hours, it doesn't seem that big a deal to make it 72 for a suspected terrorist. I mean I don't think they'd be interrogating the suspect like Jack Bauer would. ;)

molarmauler said...

Yes, sorry about that. I should have been more clear.

Dion can't possibly flip flop on the soon-to-be-sunsetted provisions of the ATA based on our rights being infringed upon by "preventative arrest". We already have "preventative arrest" laws as part of our day-to-day law enforcement. If a local cop suspects you may be about to commit a crime he can arrest you and hold you for 24 hours without a charge. If Dion has a problem with 72 hours he should have a problem with 24 hours.

So if he can't muster a valid reason for his flip-flop on the basis of "preventative arrest", and isn't it strange how he's not talking and the media aren't asking, we have to assume the flip-flop is over "investigative hearings".

molarmauler said...

Any truth to the statement by a poster on David Akin's blog that Ms. Bolan is under 24/7 police protection now because of death threats?

mary said...

"Self interest trumps integrity"

This is far off the present subject, but this conflict over Anna Nichol Smith's baby and who is the real Father is truly tragic. She currently has 2 fathers claiming to be the bio father. Doesn't anyone realize that the primary need for this baby right now is for a permanent Mother figure to come into her life and give her what every baby needs, that is the nuture and care of a loving Mother. What a complicated mess this is not to have a designated family or Mother figure to give what only a Mother can give. A Father if very necessarey but every baby needs the nurture of a Mother, surely there is someone in Anna's relations that is stable and able to give this baby what is needed right now. Let the fathers's fight over the money but give the baby what she needs right now, that is a stable home life and let go of this extreme "self-interest."

PGP said...

33 1/3 % ???

Gabby in QC said...

Thanks for the clarifications, Joanne & Molarmauler.

I wonder what Lib MP Derek Lee will do? He's one who seems firm in opposing Dion on the sunset clause, but I recall he was also opposed to the SSM bill & then he caved.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gabby, if he wants his nomination papers signed he has no choice.

Swift said...

Remember hoow the complaints about Harper muzzling his ministers?

Gabby in QC said...

"if he wants his nomination papers signed he has no choice"

True, forgot about that, although Dion denied it today on a local radio interview.

Also, during today's QP Ignatieff asked the PM why the government hadn't brought in some form of compromise to the sunset clauses.

Even during yesterday's QP (the TV program), Dion suggested that it was the government's fault for not bringing forward some suggestions for improving those provisions in the Anti-Terror Act.

So what's happening? The Libs are gently moving from outright opposition to the legislation they themselves brought in, to shifting blame on the Conservatives for not offering an alternate solution. Par for the course.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

although Dion denied it today on a local radio interview.

Really? Then he's flip-flopping again, but if he did allow his caucus a free vote, he might regain some credibility.

Even during yesterday's QP (the TV program), Dion suggested that it was the government's fault for not bringing forward some suggestions for improving those provisions in the Anti-Terror Act.

This was the subject of the opening salvo in QP (Gov't) today.

Harper said that up until a few weeks ago the Liberal party was on board about supporting these extensions. Suddenly they flip-flopped. Not enough time to go through all the processes to make the changes in a couple of weeks.

If Dion supports the extension, the changes can be made after the fact.

Anonymous said...

Harper threw out the Lib Senate compromise, saying he's for it,

Dion balked.

Then Harper directly asked Iggy, if, having regard to the fact that the leader of their own party would not compromise,

whether he personally would compromise.

Iggy looked like a deer in headlights.

Man talk about stoking divisions.

I also saw a Lib member on the floor speaking in favour of extension (didn't get his name) but isn't that rare for a member to not just vote against their party, but to openly advocate.

Yikes, Dion's taking the party down on this one.

P.S. Baird openly mocked Dion on the Greenberg reveleation that the Libs would never comply with Kyoto, by noting the Acadamy awards, took an envelope for the "Biggest Flip Flop Award" opened it and announced (to huge eruptions of laughter)

the winner is.......Stephane Dion.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon - I saw that too. Hilarious!

The Speaker reprimanded him for using a prop, but by then Baird had made his point.

Anonymous said...

harper splitting iggy and dion,

that was huge.

I love that iggy had no response

Joanne (True Blue) said...

harper splitting iggy and dion,
that was huge.


It was a thing of beauty. Harper sure knows how to play the game. Like a cat with a mouse.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gabby, after reading Olaf's latest post, I'm confused too.

Anonymous said...

Something Dion perhaps failed to calculate.

Basic notions of safety affect voters deeply. I just put aside the politics for a moment and realized that tomorrow I may be less safe.

That police will have less tools tomorrow than they did today, and that it could very well make a difference between guys being caught in advance and my three year old getting blown to smitherines, is very real.

Tomorrow, Dion will have made every Canadian just a bit less safe than the day before.

Only a pompous academic can brush aside notions of our childrens saftey for his political shenanigans.

And he will pay for it at the polls.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

That police will have less tools tomorrow than they did today, and that it could very well make a difference between guys being caught in advance and my three year old getting blown to smitherines, is very real.

That is a very sobering thought.

We can shrug off the NDP and Bloc on this because they will very likely never be forming the government, but to have the Liberals aiding and abetting is very irresponsible. And all the blame will be on Dions' skinny shoulders.

Mac said...

If a police officer held someone for 24 hours without charge, in all likelihood, that officer would be disciplined. That authority, granted by the Criminal Code, exists but it's not used lightly or liberally. In most cases, if someone is detained for a significant amount of time, it's for the purpose of bringing them before a judge or justice.

The Criminal Code pales when compared to some other federal laws. For instance, under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, immigration officers can detain foreign nationals without warrant but within 48 hours after a permanent resident or a foreign national is taken into detention, or without delay afterward, the Immigration Division must review the reasons for the continued detention.

At least once during the seven days following the initial review under and at least once during each 30-day period following each previous review, the Immigration Division must review the reasons for the continued detention.

Notice there's no "must be released by" time period, just a schedule of mandatory reviews? What does that remind you of? Security certificates??