The point is, democratic discussion, hearing from experts, etc., is what Parliament is all about. We become informed through our representatives. (And, when I have gone and read debates online at the Parliamentary website, I'm often impressed by the caliber of the discussion. Another reason why the buffoonery of men like Paul Calandra is so disgusting.)
This is why harper hates Parliament, and treats it with contempt (and makes a corrupt stooge like Paul Calandra his spokesman there). This is why he had a manual written on how to sabotage the work of Parliamentary committees when he was in the minority. The fact is, harper is a con-man. harper is the sort of guy who hurries you along, telling you not to read the fine print. The guy who tries to make you distrust your friend who is cautioning you about signing the deal.
Also, someone should fill in the Liberal Party of Canada on how Parliament is supposed to work. Supposedly they dislike C-51 as much as the NDP does. They will amend it just like the NDP says it will. (I have read competing versions as to whether C-51, which amends several other pieces of legislation can simply be repealed, or whether amending it is the only way to effectively nullify it. I don't have the technical knowledge to be able to have an opinion.) The Liberals say they are just trying to avoid the inevitable "soft on terror" accusations they would incur should they vote against this bill.
But if they think the bill is unacceptable in its current form, would they vote for its passage in a minority government situation? No. They would force changes to it in committee. Or would they then, in this hypothetical situation, STILL pass the bill, because they'd be afraid that harper would call them "soft on terror" and force them into an election. (This sounds like Michael Ignatieff all over again.)
Do they think they're soft on terror themselves? Do they think that criticism of this bill makes them soft on terror? If not, they should stand up and face these accusations squarely. Or is it their hope that by allowing harper to set the terms of the debate (terms they claim to disagree with) and by pretending to act just like him, they'll win the support of many of harper's current supporters, and form a government, and then they'll be able to tell us what they really believe?
Unless, that is, they find themselves in a minority situation. And then they'll try to "neutralize" the expected criticisms of the right-wing yap-dogs by not straying too far from the terms set by them. Which is how the Democratic Party USA became such a useless sack of shit. And the Liberals, being the Canadian version of the Democratic Party USA, this is exactly what you could probably expect from them. A combination of the worst sorts of corporate-imperialist delusions, enough sanity to recognize when something is completely bonkers, but too cowardly and corrupt and evil to make much of a difference.
The harpercons don't need the Liberals' votes to pass this abomination. If they don't agree with it, they should stand up and say so. Like Elizabeth May did from the very beginning and the way the NDP has been doing for weeks now.
Stand up and defend us against an overreaching, authoritarian-minded government by democratically opposing it in Parliament!