The Christmas season has become the silly season in the House of Assembly where the opposition parties continue to filibuster. The tiny opposition has no chance of winning the war, but battles can still be won.
Is it the right thing to do?
For the 11 member opposition that is working in shifts to keep the filibuster going it is a labor of love. The government has 36 members, which means they can let the opposition wear itself out.
Are there more reasons to keep going, even when it is a losing battle?
I would argue yes. It is the right thing to do, even if they are unsuccessful in averting the potential economic tragedy that is being imposed on us.
The two contentious bills were strategically introduced at the end of the session. The government has dropped the other shoe – we the rate payers will be on the hook for cost overruns. The government will protect the project from the purview of the Public Utilities Board. The government will give Nalcor a wholesale electricity monopoly in the province. There will be no room for new wind, natural gas or alternative energy. There will only be one utility generator of electricity.
That is a lot to swallow, let alone debate, in a couple of days.
The government may spin the yarn that they have been transparent and fair. In fact, they have been using their majority in the House of Assembly to ring fence the discussion, the legislation and the sanctioning of the Muskrat Falls debacle.
If it is acceptable for the majority to use it’s constitutional tools to operate in a totalitarian way, than it is acceptable for the minority to use every democratic tool in the Westminister tradition to oppose.
No matter how you voted in the last election or what party you are inclined to support, perhaps you might consider taking some time to visit the people's house and show your support for democracy by sitting in the galleries this Christmas season.