This is What Authoritarianism Sounds Like

If you download the 25MB audio file that is over an hour long, all but the first 4 minutes are relaxing music. Why? The Conservatives immediately put the committee into the secretive In Camera mode of discussion (where Members cannot discuss what was talked about, later on). An opposition Member (Harris?) objected on a Point of Order, overruled by the Chair because a motion to go in camera is not debatable, only voted on.

The problem is, there’s nothing that will be talked about that requires secrecy. It’s not standard practice to have secret committees, as the Harpercon member claimed at the start of the audio file. No national security implications, for instance, were on the agenda. The committee was put under the cone of silence only because it’s become a “charade”, for the Harper Government to pretend we’re still a Parliamentary Democracy. How’s that Open and Transparent and Accountable Government claim looking now?

Listen to the first 4 minutes of the audio clip, the opposition Member is spot on.

“The idea is to do its work in public”
“This committee is shut down by the government members” “The motions they don’t like are going to disappear” “We’re just an exercise in a charade” “The rules of this committee and this House, are being abused in this manner again, and again, and again by the government, and under instructions, obviously from On High” “I think it’s outrageous.”

3 responses to “This is What Authoritarianism Sounds Like

  1. Is it time to start bugging our government chambers just so we can an inkling of what is happening. Maybe it is time for opposition members to start threatening to blab about what is going on. The CPC should care, since they really don’t give a rats arse about the laws that govern our democracy

    • They’re setting up the opposition to do things that are democratic, but illegal or procedurally incorrect. It’s partisan politics taken too far.

  2. Maybe they’ll start putting Question Period in camera too? That’d be useful. Expect it. The point of Parliament is to make the governing visible in all except the most extreme circumstances. Now people can’t see into committees and Kady is going to become Cranky Kady full time, if her job is obsoleted where there is no more Parliament to report on.

    It’s a bit like a radio station covering its daily programming up with bland, soothing, classical music (or CBC Radio 2) and expecting to stay relevant. The government doesn’t care if we can’t see, but obviously the opposition parties care immensely. They had better revolt against this trend effectively, and soon.

    *rinnng, rinnng…*
    “Hello, you’ve reached the Harper Government. Let’s be clear, your call is important to us, moving forward. If you’d like this message en francais, please press numero duex.
    If your call is in regard to a problem you are having, please remain on the line and your call will be answered after we verify by tracing your phone number and pulling up your CIMS file that you’ve never associated with Liberals or that other opposition party.
    (If you’re deemed non-Conservative, expect to be left on hold, with soothing music in perpetuity.)

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