Tuesday, May 19, 2009

British Speaker Resigns Over Scandal; Should Nancy Pelosi Follow His Example? (Video)

Dear Nancy Pelosi: It's time to give up your speakership. Yes, this example from Britain is indeed a huge scandal. Yes, Speaker Michael Martin did the right thing.

Yet, he merely led an abuse of tax payer money -- bad indeed -- but he did not put the lives of his constituents and the security of his country in jeopardy.

Do the right thing, Madame Speaker. You can retain your congressional seat -- no one is calling for the people of San Francisco to be disenfranchised -- but you must resign your leadership position.

As second in line to the highest Office in the land, your lack of commitment and understanding of national security inherently disqualifies you to retain your current post.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The speaker of Britain's House of Commons resigned under pressure Tuesday, the biggest casualty yet in a scandal over dubious expenses that has sparked a movement to impose supervision on its historically independent Parliament.

Michael Martin's resignation marks the first time in more than 300 years that a speaker has been forced from office by a formal challenge. The last time, Sir John Trevor was sacked for taking bribes during the reign of William of Orange in 1695.

Mr. Martin had become a symbol of U.K. politicians' attempts to stop the public from learning the details of lawmakers' expense claims. He led Parliament's five-year fight to block disclosure of the expenses, an effort that was torpedoed over the past two weeks by explosive newspaper articles detailing how dozens of British lawmakers -- across the country's main political parties -- charged the government for items from dog food to installments of mortgages that had already been paid off.

For Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the expense scandal is another blow in a troubled year that has seen him lose momentum he briefly gained from his popular bailout of the country's banks. While polls show that the scandal has hit both major parties, boosting smaller rivals, Mr. Brown's Labour Party trailed the Conservatives by 13 percentage points in a recent survey by pollsters Populus.

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