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Prior to today's ruling, I was very dubious about the theory advanced by some pundits that we were heading to an election on the issue of Afghan detainee documents; after all, how could Stephen Harper run a campaign against a ruling of the Speaker elected by the House of Commons - particularly one as cherubic and reasonable as Peter Milliken?

Instead, in the unlikely event that the Speaker ordered the production of uncensored documents, I thought that the government would refer the question of MPs' privileges in relation to the executive branch to the Supreme Court of Canada for a ruling.

That option remains on the table. However, in inviting MPs to work out their differences over the next two weeks, the Speaker has perhaps inadvertently increased the odds of an election.

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Each of the parties will now have to come forward with concrete proposals to protect national security and the safety of our men and women who are in harm's way in Afghanistan. And those proposals are something that the public can easily understand.

The Conservatives will need the support of one opposition party to prevail. Failing which, Canadians may be called upon to decide the issue.

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