Monday, October 30, 2006

Discretion is the Better Part of Valour

The House of Commons Justice Committee is going to study the federal government's decision to axe the Court Challenge Program, and I was invited to give my perspective on the matter at one of its hearings.

I refused.

OK, I know what you're thinking.

"Gerry you're one of the top five political minds in the country. It's your duty to appear at these hearings and give the MPs the benefit of your political wisdom."

But take it from me. These hearings usually degenerate into anti-NCC smear attacks.

Here's what would have happened, had I agreed to appear before the Justice Committee:

Me: Well, Mr. Chairman this is why I think the Court Challenges Program is a waste . . .

Some outraged MP: Excuse me Mr. Nicholls, before you go on, can you please tell us why the National Citizens Coalition is a super-secret, right wing group that wants to overthrow the government.

Me: The NCC is ....

Some Other Outraged MP: And isn't the NCC the group that ran newspaper ads comparing me to a fat ugly pig!!!

Me: Well to be fair it was actually a cute litte pig but . .

Outraged MPs: Arrest him!

Me: !!

Yeah, it's much better if I pass on these type of affairs.


Miles Lunn said...

If you had any guts Gerry you should go for it. So what if some MP heckles you, if you believe strongly in what you do, you shouldn't be afraid to defend it. I would happily defend my views in front of a committee regardless of how hostile some members might be to them. Besides even as a person who disagreed with the decision to axe the Court Challenges Program, I am always interested in hearing what others have to say even if I don't agree with them. A healthy democracy is one that listens to all sides, not just those who agree with their view.

Gerry Nicholls said...


You missed the point of my little satiric jab. It's not about "fear" it's about "time". Appearing before those Committees is a waste of time. MPs vote the way they are told to vote. Nothing I say will change their minds. If they want to know whatI think about a subject they can read my blog.

Flavrflav said...

Miles miss the point?

That's never happened before. LOL.

GritPatriot said...

I am not surprised that you are afraid to throw light on your shady little organization.It's easier to take potshots from the sidelines.

BTW, didn't you guys and HArper take funding from the Court Cahllenge program for your losing trip to the SCC?

You are certainly a misguided little fellow to declare yourself one of the top 5 minds in Canadian politics. Is that ahead or behind of the little troll Ralph Klein?

Miles Lunn said...

Grit Patriot - Actually the Court Challenges Program funded Democracy Watch and NAPO on the other side. However, I agree if Nicholls was proud of his views and wanted to push them he would go in front of the committee. Far more people read committee transcripts than this blog.

Gerry - It may not change the minds of MPs, but it might of voters. Besides the only reason I could you see you not wanting to go in front of the committee is you will have to face counter arguments and if yours were strong enough you would have nothing to fear as the public would judge the MPs badly, but if your arguments are ill informed, then you have every reason to avoid it.