Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Hey, Toronto Star, I've got some farmland in the Arctic you might be interested in too
Paul Martin says he is willing to have MPs sit through the summer in order to pass the gay marriage bill, C-38. The Toronto Star believes him.
There are two steps the Liberals say they have left in order to pass the bill.
One is to pass a motion extending the current parliamentary session to accommodate its passage. Since the Bloc has already demanded a written guarantee from the Liberals that the bill will actually come to a vote, and the Liberals have refused, the latter have already announced their other option.
Which brings us to the second step. Upon defeat of the motion to extend the session, the Liberals will ask the Speaker to recall the House as a matter of national interest.
Here is an excerpt from today's National Post on that very topic:
A request for the Speaker to recall the House is rare. The Commons standing orders allow the recall if the Speaker is satisfied after consultation with the government that "public interest requires that the House should meet at an earlier time."
The last time a Speaker recalled the Commons was in 1991 during the Persian Gulf war.
The prospect of recalling the House for the budget bill and the marriage legislation infuriated Conservative House leader Jay Hill, who said it is not urgent to pass either bill.
"I think it's an abuse of power for them to even consider this," Mr. Hill said.
"That mechanism is supposed to be used in times of emergency or a natural disaster or that type of thing, where there's a crisis facing the nation."
Even Mr. Valeri admitted, because courts have already ruled same-sex marriage legal in seven provinces and a territory, that the appeal to Mr. Milliken would hinge on the budget bill.
There is no national emergency here. Certainly nothing of the magnitude of the Persian Gulf war. This leads me to believe Speaker Milliken will not be convinced by the government's arguments to recall the House.
In other words, despite what the Toronto Star editorial writers seem to believe, or would have us believe, nothing has changed since last week when Martin was dithering on gay marriage. He may want it to look like he's doing something. In reality, it probably won't change a thing.
But since the Toronto Star seems to be in a particularly trusting mood, I've got some farmland in the Arctic they might be interested in. It's the latest fad: ice corn. You see.....