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MPs' loyalty; Signing an oath to the PM (Windsor Star)

Windsor Star
August 28, 2002

Editorial


MPs' loyalty; Signing an oath to the PM


A few days prior to Jean Chretien's decision to step down in 18 months, some of his supporters released a list of MPs who had made a pledge of loyalty, or an oath to the prime minister.

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But the bigger issue than the overall number of Liberal signatures on the oath was the actual oath itself. This undemocratic document threatens to limit the freedom of choice a Member of Parliament has in supporting or not supporting a party leader.

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Thankfully, not all Liberal MPs kowtowed to the request to sign the questionable pledge.

Liberal Senator Anne Cools angrily denounced the oath as "un-prime ministerial and un-senatorial.

"Not only did I refuse to sign it," Cools told reporters, "but I will go a little bit farther and say I not only disagree with it, but I condemn it."

Senator Cools went on to call the letter "an objectionable solicitation by the government of Canada."

The senator deserves credit for opposing the loyalty oath. It's a shame that so few of her fellow Liberal senators understood the damage they were potentially causing to Canadian democracy by signing their controversial oath.

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