Friday, February 10, 2006

CTV.ca | NDP requests investigation into Emerson crossing



Oh brother:
"The NDP is asking the federal ethics commissioner to investigate MP David Emerson's decision to quit the Liberals in exchange for a Conservative cabinet post.

What next? Banning phone calls between MPs? Here is the relevant ethics code that MP Peter Julian quotes:
"When performing parliamentary duties and functions, a Member shall not act in any way to further his or her private interests or those of a member of the Member's family, or to improperly further another person's private interests."

I think it is pretty clear that any plain reading of this section of the Conflict of Interest Code refers to actions as an MP that would, say, increase the value of shares in a certain company by acting arbitrarily to do so.

I mean, a broad and general reading of the code, otherwise, might even ensnare someone like MP Garth Turner, who is acting in his best interests by speaking against the Tory leadership so that he doesn't get an office in the haunted basement in Parliament. I mean, why else air dirty laundry but to gather support for his causes?

Of course, this interpretation is clearly stupid. I suppose that is my point of the NDP request too; it is a stupid accusation based on an overly general reading of the text.

That said, it wouldn't surprise me if the Ethics Commissioner sided with Julian, given how aloof he acted in the Grewal-Dosanjh affair.

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