That weren't no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive

Motion to nowhere

Surprised as I was that Ignatieff said he’d welcome a motion on the new Afghan “behind the wire” deployment, so long as his party didn’t do the actual proposing, I was more surprised that 1) the NDP didn’t take up the gauntlet, and that 2) the Bloc did and did it meekly.

It’s kind of Voltaire in reverse. Instead of “I disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it,” we get from the BQ “I disagree with how you say it, but as for what you say, well, I have no strong opinion.”

POGGE has already suggested (with the aptly titled article – Is that all there is?) that the BQ motion is tepid at best. The BQ motion treats the government position a fait d’accompli – no attempt to counteract it, but instead, simply to say the HoC should condemn the fact the decision was made without a vote.

To condemn the voteless nature of the decision is one thing. To disagree with the decision itself is meatier stuff. It shouldn’t be hard. Here’s a motion for you:

Canada should transition to a purely civilian mission from 2011, considering that its Armed Forces has done plenty of good stuff as regards the ISAF mission over the past decade, and a decade is plenty long. In this new decade, we are best able to support the democratic government over there through disabling any *ahem* “potential” dependence it may develop *ahem* “in the future” on NATO. Kabul wants sovereignty, and we think that’s great. The best place to start is by us getting out. Afghan soldiers don’t need training in how to fight, clearly, so our efforts will be directed towards literacy and entrepreneurialism. The Armed Forces will be coming home.

O.K., so that’s a bit of a shitty motion. I’m not actually an MP.

But I’d have expected the NDP (or, I suppose, even the Bloc), to craft a smarter version of the same sentiment. Instead, we get meek criticism of the process of Harper’s/Rae’s decision. Nothing of the decision itself.

Does Parliament really agree in its assembled majority that sleepwalking through three more years in Afghanistan is fine, and that “training soldiers how to shoot” is the best thing Canada can offer?

Filed under: Canada, Politics, , ,


November 2010

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