That's why they call it Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition

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This is from the final paragraph of a post from Paul Wells on the ongoing F-35 debacle:

There should be a designated full-time devil's advocate in the PMO, somebody the prime minister trusts a lot and fears a little. The person should argue, every day, that the government might be wrong. We used to have a civil service to do that, but those days are gone.

It seems to me we used to have an Official Opposition to do that and its formal title included the word "loyal" for a reason. But here's one of the ways in which our parliamentary system has become debased: the acceptance of the government's routine accusation that opposition politicians don't just disagree but are actually working against the interests of the country.

Remember "Taliban Jack"? Editorial boards across the country, regardless of political ideology, should have been up in arms at the implication that it was treasonous to disagree with the government's position. As I recall, the outrage was actually pretty muted where it was voiced at all and so it became that much more acceptable to recycle the tactic.

Wells just described the opposition's primary function quite succinctly: to argue, every day, that the government might be wrong. It's an honorable occupation and a necessary function and both the government and the opposition members, along with everyone else, would do well to remember it.

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Harper has effectively neutered the opposition, the civil service and even the office of the Governor General. Harper has also debased democracy by ignoring electoral laws and possibly perpetrating a massive fraud in the last election. It's hard to imagine recovering from so much destruction.

It seems that we are back into the dark ages, and to the concept of divine right. The party in power will brook no opposition, and they take their direction from the PMO.

Who, apparently, is infallible.

Barring an insurrection, we are screwed until 2015. At least.

Colin Horgan at iPolitics addresses the co-opting of the civil service today.
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This page contains a single entry by pogge published on December 13, 2012 9:57 AM.

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