Thursday, January 31, 2008

Immunity! Immunity!

Okay, okay, I know Quasimodo, was yelling Sanctuary! Sanctuary!, but it's really the same thing isn't it?

Say anything you want "Inside The House" because you have immunity, even though cameras are blasting everything you say to millions of people. (I know millions aren't watching, but they could be.) The TV stations can then blast whatever was said across the nation during the news hour, you see, they are not restricted by Parliamentary immunity. This was probably okay in the pre-tv days, but it is outdated now, and is being used by MP's and the media to say anything they want knowing they can't be sued.

The Prime Minister in his response today ... put a black mark on the over half-a-million Greek Canadians that play even a small role in the development of this great country,” said Mr. Cannis, who called on Mr. Harper to stand in the House and “apologize publicly to each and every Greek Canadian.”

What the Globe and Mail somehow left out was this:

Hon. Peter Van Loan: Mr. Speaker, there has been a characterization put on the Prime Minister's comments that is not at all in accord with the Prime Minister's intention nor with what he said. In fact, I believe the Prime Minister was defending the people of Greek origin from what seemed to be unremitting attacks from the opposition.

Leo Housakos, whose character was repeatedly attacked by members of all the opposition parties, is a very proud member of the Greek community whose service to the Greek community is second to none. He was director of the Montreal Hellenic Board of Trade, director of the Hellenic Academic Foundation, former director of Zoom Media, Hellas, Greece, and former executive vice-president of the Hellenic Congress of Quebec. This is someone of whom we are very proud. I believe that is the point the Prime Minister was making.

We should not be attacking these people. We should be taking pride in their origins, as we are, and be proud they have an opportunity to play a role in the mainstream of this country. It is not a crime for them to speak to people in the government. They should be allowed to participate in the mainstream of our country.

You see, I was able to copy and paste what was actually said, straight from the government site, just like the Globe did, except, I gave the full account, not just a sound bite. This is what the media is constantly doing, taking little sound bites direct from the Parliamentary procedures, and making up their own stories.

Fine, that's freedom of the press, but I then say, that anything said in the House should be actionable. If an MP spouts off nonsense inside the House, knowing that the media is going to quote them, then they should be held to account for what they say, both inside and outside of the House.

Dimitri Soudas is now asking Dion to apologise (Thanks Stephen Taylor, another home run!) for what he said, outside the House.

Dion, you idiot, remember inside the House, no problem, outside the House, lawsuits. If all else fails, yell, "Immunity, Immunity"!


Anonymous said...

If the politicians insist on having immunity, then maybe the libel/slander laws should be changed to make the press financially libel when they take stuff out of context or don't provide full context. That should extend to personal liability to the reporters/editors/producers as well.
Then perhaps they'd be a little more responsible.

Anonymous said...

William says....
...(no blogger account)...

As an MP you can say whatever you like, without repercussion, as long as it's said within parliment.

Reporters do NOT have the same legal protection.

They are NOT protected by parlimentary privalige.

I wish someone would sue, we need a supreme court ruling in this matter, it shouldn't matter that they are just quoting Hansard,
slanderous statements, made outside the house, are slanderous statements.

Elected representatives have immunity within the house.
Members of the press are not elected and repeating slanderous statements in public (even if they are just quoting Hansard)does NOT protect them from any law suits.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

This is a great post, Hunter. I totally agree. MSM needs to be called up every time they edit a story to support their particular bias, and this immunity thing is really getting out of hand.