Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Nathan Cullen Responds

Quite eloquently I think, in his local paper. The money quote:
The government does not belong to the Conservative Party – it belongs to the people of Canada. We elect representatives through a fair and open process and Mr. Harris and his boss, the Prime Minister, will learn that the people of Skeena-Bulkley Valley will not be tricked or bullied by anyone in deciding who will represent them in the future.
I agree Nathan, but you would be hard pressed to get his psychotic majesty accept that as true.

Update:This from the House Of Commons Procedures web site. It is from the section on Parliamentary Privilege:
Freedom from Obstruction, Interference and Intimidation

Members of Parliament must be protected from influence or interference as they make laws and take decisions crucial to the nation. This protection is provided in part by the criminal law which, for example, specifically prohibits attempts at bribery and at interference with the electoral process. Even in circumstances in which the criminal law has had no application, Speakers have recognized claims by Members that they have been obstructed, impeded, interfered with or intimidated in the performance of their duties, as prima facie cases of privilege.

The application of this privilege extends beyond parliamentary proceedings in the Chamber and in committees. This protection is also recognized as extending to Members’ staff and to the staff of the House of Commons while they assist the Members in the discharge of their duties, and even to witnesses before parliamentary committees.

Any physical barrier preventing a Members’ access to the parliamentary precinct or blocking their free movement within it may be treated by the House as a breach of privilege. Questions of privilege have been raised in connection with traffic barriers, security cordons, and even union picket lines.

Speakers have recognized as obstruction, interference and intimidation such varied activities as the harming of a Member’s good name or reputation, and public criticisms of the neutrality of the Chair. In each case, the Speaker has had to determine whether the alleged breach of privilege relates directly to the Member’s ability to carry out his or her parliamentary duties. (emphasis mine)
I would submit that appointing a "go to person" in Nathan Cullen's riding defacto harms Mr. Cullen's reputation by suggesting he is not doing his job. I hope Mr. Cullen rises in the House on the first day and asks the Speaker to rule on this possible breach of privilege.
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