Wednesday, January 15, 2014

That Reform Bill thing

Lawrence Martin has written it off before it's even put to the House:
Well, so much for another attempt at curbing the über-powers of our Prime Minister. The highly publicized reform proposals of Tory backbencher Michael Chong aren’t wanted, judging by the words of Stephen Harper and his team.
But Martin writes off Parliament as blithely as the Harper team does:
The PMO gets more presidential all the time, but Parliament lacks the power of the House or Senate in Washington to check it.
Actually Parliament has all the powers -- far more than the American congress. All the prime minister's powers are merely delegated to him by the house majority.  Some or all of them could be removed tomorrow, if MPs chose to act. It's just that they constantly have Lawrence Martin et al in their ear, telling them they cannot. And they come to believe it.

Update, Jan 17. Lawrence Martin defends himself
Technically you're correct that H. of C. has more power than Houses of Congress, but practically speaking there is of course no comparison. U.S. bodies much more powerful.
It may be that a few Conservatives will buck Harper on Chong, but likely not enough.
Concur, though it's only if MP accept that condition.  Anyway, he throws a bouquet, so I'm conciliated:
p.s. I'm researching a book on the history of Canadian democracy going back to the BNA act. Your work, esp. "1867" very valuable in this regard.
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