Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The NDP gets feisty in QP

I haven’t seen the video, but according to the transcript it looks like the NDP is getting feisty in question period (which I’m not opposing, btw). It appears both Bill Siksay and Niki Ashton (who dat? --ed) had questions ruled out of order today. Bill on Saanich-Gulf Islands ads, and Niki on the Conservative campus club controversy.

These were both questions that the NDP knew would be ruled out of order – questions need to relate to the portfolio of the minister, say the rules -- so it’s all a bit of theatre. Still, valid issues (to politicos at least, maybe not at the kitchen table), and I can’t recall the last time a party had three (with Siksay’s supplemental) questions disallowed in the same QP.

Here’s the first, from Siksay (this is the closed captioning, hence the weirdness at times):

>> Bill Siksay (NDP): Mr. Speaker, the minister of sport: Third party group brought ads endorsing the minister during the campaign. They had the same financial officer linking them to each other. They had the same address at the office of a senior political conservative activist, who's on the riding executive, linking them to the minister. These links are too obvious to ignore. Can the minister explain.

>> The speaker: I... questions about elections generally are not the minister dmresh the administrative responsibility of the government and question furred is intended for that purpose, so I don't think the question the honourable member process posed is in order. The honourable member for Burnaby-Douglas has a cement reply, though, if he wisheS.

>> Bill Siksay (ndp): Mr. Speaker, I'll try again, because it goes up holding the law that all members of parliament are required to do. These are the facts: Dish linked to each other and link today the minister. One with an explicit link to his campaign manager. Advertising speak by the four groups of over $12,000 to endorse the minister's candidacy. Spending that, if charged too his campaign, would put him over the limit. Does the minister deny these facts? Bass this an attempt to circumvent spending...

>> The speaker: I don't think it's in order for the minister to answer. Nor is the question in order because the question does not concern the administrative responsibilities of the government. That's the administrative responsibility of Elections Canada and the member may want to pose his question to the chief electoral officer in due course.
And Ashton:
>> Niki Ashton (NDP): Documents leaked recently from an on-campus conservative party workshop show that this government is actively encouraging the undermining of campus democracy with the establishment of front organizations to funnel student money to the parity. Threats and attacks, the conservative party is attempting to manipulate the democratic control of student unions across Canada. This is unacceptable, Mr. Speaker. Does the government condone the overthrowing of democracy on campuses by the conservative party?

>> The speaker: Order. Again, I'm afraid the honourable member's question appears to have to do with party matters and nothing to do with government responsibilities, which question period is to be about. And so we'll move on to the next question.
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Big Winnie said...

I was hoping that someone was going to bring up the Cons attempts to subvert Campus politics.

Devin Maxwell said...


Do you have access to the "Blues?" If so, how?

ADHR said...

Ashton seems to be emerging as the NDP voice on higher education issues. She's also all over the Cons' recent decision to funnel new SSHRC funding into business-related research only.

Sophie-Marie said...

Ashton is the MP for Churchill, the youngest female MP in the House and, as it happens, a very nice young woman.