Confused about the Afghan Mission

I just can’t get my head around the slew of columns, praising the "bi-partisan", "above politics" result on the Afghan file. There seems the most serious error in logic, as well as a fundamental betrayal of the word "bi-partisan".

Both the Conservatives and several Liberals are saying that the government of the day doesn’t need Parliamentary approval to extend this mission, so long as it is not military in nature. If you take this defence for the lack of a formal debate and vote, then you have effectively neutered this notion of politicians from both sides putting aside partisanship and working in "bi-partisan" fashion. If the government doesn’t need Parliament’s approval, then why the hell do they need to get the Liberals on board?? If the government is well within its mandate, as argued by Liberals themselves, then there is no need to cobble together a multi-party approval, right? All these accolades, people rising above the fray, is pure bull, because there is no "bi-partisan" effort.

I’m arguing a fine line here, because I don’t approve of the leaks, at least those that name names. However, what is clear and NOT surprising, the Liberals are anything but "bi-partisan" on this issue. In fact, it would appear the Liberals are horribly divided on this Afghan issue, so to claim that we have some real mutual agreement only stands if you toss out democracy, and instead focus on what amounts to a few people coming to a meeting of the minds. "Bi-partisan" is a complete and utter mirage, and it’s sad that people praise this horribly flawed description.

I can understand why this issue is blowing up in the Liberals face, because it looks like MP’s weren’t consulted, at least not in a way our DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED representatives deserve. The after the fact "oh by the way" flavour to this whole story is disturbing. Once again, we see evidence of a top down approach, which snubs core tenets.

There is something anti-democratic, backroom, end around, to this whole affair. No matter the rationalizations, the stench is there and it is very, very real. It has become even more bizarre now, that we have people lauding this process and bastardizing the word "bi-partisan". Frankly, it’s a joke at this point to say the Liberals support this Afghanistan extension. As a matter of fact, it looks like most Liberal MP’s don’t, which explains the detour tactics employed (I actually do, in general, but that is completely irrelevant to the notion of democratic accountability).

Just don’t insult everyone with these nonsensical characterizations, and misguided praise that fails basic logic.

Click HERE to read more from Steve Val

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