Le­git­i­macy of the Se­nate added to at­tacks on the Con­sti­tu­tion

The Southern Gazette - - EDITOR’S -


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

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