The all-party agreement tabled Friday implicitly recognizes that both sides of this war of words have real merit. The agreement is that an all-party committee of four MPs -- one for each party in Parliament -- and four designates will be sworn to secrecy and given access to some 10,000 pages of documents. They will review them and decide which should be released to a parliamentary committee and which remain secret. Where disputes occur, disputed documents will be submitted to a panel of three jurists, to be agreed among the parties, who will then make a final decision.Both sides of the argument have merit, regardless of what the Speaker's ruling said. The opposition parties were wise to back down from the position of the Speaker's ruling and bend to the will of the government. Everyone is happy there is no election over something as stupid as the idea of Parliamentary supremacy. These are now the official truths of our betters. Anyone who disagrees with this narrative does so at the peril of being ridiculed as "not serious".
The opposition, of course, could have demanded absolute control of the review and releases -- Jack Layton, in fact, blustered that he would settle for nothing less -- but they didn't. That they didn't was a sign that, more than anything, they didn't want to be seen as overplaying their hand and triggering an election that nobody wants.
Update: Another lonely voice suggesting that the emperor has no clothes, joins in. My only disagreement with him is his blaming of the Liberals. I see it as a joint failure by all of the opposition parties. Recommend this Post