A ‘battering ram’ through the legislature
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