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Office of the Leader of the Opposition - Wednesday, October 08, 2003 at 12:37

"Democracy's New Champion" Adds to Liberal Record of Choking
Off Debate


Office of the Leader of the Opposition
Bureau du Chef de l'opposition


October 7, 2003

"Democracy's New Champion" Adds to Liberal Record of Choking Off Debate

OTTAWA - Perhaps he was busy finalizing the agenda for his parallel
caucus meeting this evening, but conspicuous by his absence from the
House of Commons today was Paul Martin.  Meanwhile, his Liberal
colleagues voted to shut down debate in the House for a record 83rd

Tonight, Mr. Martin is convening his caucus to talk about the
"democratic deficit" and how to address it.  Presumably, they will be
discussing things like bringing down the dictatorial hammer of closing
off debate in the House of Commons - but then again, maybe not.  After
all, through his entire career on the government benches, Paul Martin
never voted against a closure or time allocation motion on 82 previous
opportunities.  Why should today have been any different?

Forgive us if we're a little perplexed, Mr. Martin, but shouldn't
addressing the "democratic deficit" start with MPs making their votes
count in the House of Commons?

Shouldn't it also mean that MPs should be free to debate public policy
without the government strangling the process and shutting it down?

Aren't 83 cases of this deplorable practice enough to persuade you to
come to the House and vote against it?

Or will tonight be just another example of your meaningless chatter
about the "democratic deficit", behind closed doors, over pizza, along
with your Liberal colleagues who joined in shutting down today's debate?


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