An advice column for MP Cannon?

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by admin on January 20, 2010

The Editor,

I was so relieved to read Michael Bussiere’s commentary (Get back to work Lawrence Cannon, Jan. 13 edition). I had meant to write myself, but I guess I was too apathetic.

But a recent news item caught my eye, and I thought I should share it with our Foreign Affairs Minister, seeing as he’s not at work and might have missed it: The Prime Minister of Cook Islands has announced that parliament is unlikely to sit until the government is forced to table a budget in July. The reason? The very strong likelihood that he would be removed by a vote of no confidence when parliament sits (January 13, 2010, http://www.cinews.co.ck/index.html). Must have got the idea from the previous week’s Economist (Harper Goes Prorogue, The Economist, Jan. 7, 2010).

The Cook Islands story got me thinking that maybe The Low Down needs to step up to the plate, and set up an advice column for Mr. Cannon. Readers, “ordinary people”, could let him know, in public, what they think of the government’s policies and suggest alternatives. This way, we all would know what kind of advice he is getting. Maybe he would reply, and we would know what he has to say.

Normally this kind of discussion takes place in a public institution, parliament, and we can monitor proceedings in Hansard, or on CPAC TV, or in House of Commons committee proceedings – all of which are public. But with parliament prorogued, this kind of public debate and weighing of options – transparency, some call it; accountability, others call it – is absent. Cook Islands anyone?

Heather Gibb

Chelsea, Quebec