Legitimacy of the Senate added to attacks on the Constitution
Finance Minister Flaherty is quoted as saying “‘I’m being pushy Intentionally on behalf of Canadians.”
Yet his actions belie his words. Rather than enabling Senators to review House of Commons’ Bills, on behalf of Canadians, he would deny them their Constitution ability to do so.
His Government’s view is though elected with a minority in the House of Commons, the Opposition par- ties cannot legitimately combine their majority of votes and place others in his and other Ministers’places.
Indeed the Conservative rhetoric has been this is undemocratic against the will of the people, though such a coalition would represent a majority of the electorate who voted and be completely constitutional.
Flaherty in saying Budget Bill C10 has “been approved by the House of Commons ... by the elected people of Canada,” is taking a similar demagogic tack. He is denying the legitimacy of the Senate.
To him it cannot exercise its Constitutional role of giving ‘sober second thought’ to legislation passed by the Commons.
Flaherty’s words “I get the impression from some of these Senators that they’re living somewhere other than Canada,” more aptly apply to his views rather than Senators who ‘dislike the fact that the government has packed the draft legislation with other measures’.
In point of fact it is he, not they, who is either unaware or acting unaware in Canada the Senate has the power to either reject Commons Bills or, as it proposed in this instance, to amend it by removing non-budgetary measures for wider consideration than that of the Cabinet.
Yours truly, Joe Hueglin, Niagara Falls, Ontario