Suppose, for the sake of argument, Canada were a democracy. Imagine, as a thought experiment, that anyone gave a damn. What would be the warning signs that we were losing it? At what point would we decide we had crossed the line?
Here’s a thought. Suppose a provincial premier, threatened with a contempt vote for withholding documents from the legislature, were to respond by shutting the place down — indefinitely. And suppose, that same week, the federal government were to pack a whole pile of wholly unrelated legislation into a single bill, and demand Parliament pass the lot. Now suppose I told you these were not isolated or unusual events, but increasingly the norm.
. . .
Now all of this would be alarming enough, if our legislatures were in robust good health to begin with. But then, if they were in good health — if the executive branch of government were truly accountable to the legislative, and the legislative properly mindful of its oversight role — none of this would be happening. In truth, parliamentary government in Canada has been in decline for many years, and at an accelerating pace; as each new power is eroded or prerogative overridden, a precedent is established and a defence is removed, to the point that, well, what point have we reached?
Click here to read the entire Postmedia News article by Andrew Coyne (October 19, 2012).
Should a new Canadian Constitution restrict some of the key powers of the Prime Minister and provincial premiers? You can send a letter letting key politicians across Canada know what you think HERE.