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A Time For Politics and A Time For Action

March 17, 2011

Well, this is going to be an interesting week isn’t?

In case you haven’t heard, the UN Security Council just approved a No Fly Zone over Libya.  The wording was stronger than expected allowing “any necessary actions” to protect civilians from being massacred by Gaddafi’s forces. Word has it that Canada has already committed to send six of our estimated 120 CF-18 Hornets to help enforce the No Fly Zone.  This is a good thing if it will save lives and avoid a massacre.  It needs to be targetted and to avoid cilivian areas as much as possible and not be part of any occupation force but rather an enablement of the Libyan people to determine their own destiny.

But this provides a tricky situation for Canadian politicians. In case you aren’t up to date on the latest intricacies of  Canadian politics let me fill you in on some relevant tidbits (it’s ok, most Canadians aren’t up to date either):

  • today a committee in parliament just advised finding Conservative minority government of Stephen Harper in  contempt of parliament. If all goes according to plan this motion will be voted in parliament on monday or tuesday and would mark the first time a government has ever been found in contempt in Canadian history.  The complaint concerns the minority government refusing to turn over cost estimates for various ‘tough on crime’ bills despite repeated demands from the majority in parliament.
  • on top of that, this tuesday, the government is due to release its budget. Given the various shenanigans the Conservative party has gotten up to in the past five years of its minority rule it is almost certain that the opposition parties will defeat the government and send Canadians to an election.
  • One of the contentious actions of the “Harper Government” (as they’ve been officially calling themselves in communiques for the past year, as opposed to the traditional “Government of Canada”… yes, I’m serious) has been the order of 65 new F-35 advanced strike fighters at a continuously ballooning cost of $30 billion dollars without considering any other tenders or spending options.  So using a few of our older fighter jets right now for a high profile (and worthy) mission when the opposition has been criticizing the purchase of  new jets is…a sticky situation.

I’m sure the war rooms of the opposition parties and the government are deep in thought over the optics of various responses at this point.  I would encourage them all to look at the situation in a level headed manner and put the lives of people in Libya ahead of their partisan hatchets and strategies.

If we can help in Libya, we should help. If that requires a vote, vote for it.

But that also doesn’t mean you can’t vote down the government for all the other things it has done. The military can function as it is. The Prime Minister is in charge until he’s not, their is no vacuum of power. This means even through an election he’s in charge and after it until a new government is selected. So there is no reason we can’t have an election and help Libya at the same time.


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