Two sides of the debate
Politics is all about debate (or at least it used to be when politicians actually debated issues).
Debate, as we all know, is about arguing a position, whether we believe it or not. So when you reach the pinnacle of politics, you should be able to debate an issue. And we have a couple of the best in Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Christy Clark.
There is plenty of debate this week over the Conservative government’s omnibus budget bill. The government has lumped a multitude of items together into one bill in order to get them rapidly passed through the House of Commons.
Debate on the actual items is severely limited.
Harper and his gang aren’t the first to do this. In fact many governments have used this loophole in our due process to push items through.
The Liberals did it when Harper was leader of the Official Opposition. He debated then that lumping items together into an omnibus bill does not serve democracy. Now, he argues, it’s necessary to pass the budget so the government can get a handle on the deficit.
Then there’s Premier Christy Clark. Earlier this week the provincial media pressed her to take a stand on the Northern Gateway pipeline project. She restated her position that Victoria will wait the environmental review process run its course before taking a stand. While making the comments she also praised the environmental review process as being thorough and rigorous. Who would want to pre-judge the process?
This is the same environmental review process that she panned vociferously a few months ago when it rejected the Prosperity Mine project west of Williams Lake.
Yes, it is good to be able to debate both sides of an argument. But when you’re not in the debating club, it just comes across as being two-faced.