A ‘bat­ter­ing ram’ through the leg­is­la­ture

The Peterborough Examiner - - Opinion -

An open let­ter to MPP Dave Smith:

I'm writ­ing as a con­cerned voter re­gard­ing the re­cently rein­tro­duced bill re­duc­ing the num­ber of Toronto city coun­cil­lors. As one of your con­stituents, this is not some­thing I sup­port, and had this been men­tioned in the cam­paign, quite frankly, you wouldn't have had my vote. As a for­mer po­lit­i­cal sci­ence stu­dent, I have done some re­search into the not­with­stand­ing clause, and am con­cerned about its use in this case.

As with any demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tion, checks and bal­ances are put in place not to con­strain the gov­ern­ment, but to pro­vide vot­ers a means of look­ing un­der the hood, so to speak, and see­ing that their gov­ern­ment is op­er­at­ing within the frame­work of our con­sti­tu­tion. I take is­sue with the fact that Mr. Ford has claimed that cut­ting city coun­cil in Toronto was the will of the peo­ple, as there was not even a whis­per of such things dur­ing the re­cent cam­paign.

Mr. Ford has also sug­gested that a ju­di­cial rul­ing does not re­flect the will of the peo­ple, which I find to be patently false. While it is true that judges are un-elected, they are ap­pointed for their ju­di­cial ex­pe­ri­ence, and sound char­ac­ter, not for their po­lit­i­cal lean­ings. If Mr. Ford dis­agrees with the judge's rul­ing solely on the ba­sis of what he per­ceives to be a lack of demo­cratic le­git­i­macy, then I would hope he would avoid mak­ing him­self a hyp­ocrite by truly lis­ten­ing to what vot­ers have to say on this is­sue rather than ham­mer­ing this bill through the leg­is­la­ture with the bat­ter­ing ram that is the not­with­stand­ing clause. Lewis Parker, Peterborough

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