Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Senate Saves Canada... Again

How do you save democracy from itself? You appoint a Senate.

In 1990 the democratically elected House of Commons passed Bill C-43 which would have criminalized all abortions. That bill was defeated by the appointed Senate. To this day abortions remain legal solely because of the Senate's actions.

In 2013 the democratically elected House of Commons passed Bill C-377 which would have weakened labour unions. That bill was stopped by the appointed Senate. 

Today the democratically elected House of Commons is preparing to pass Bill C-23 The Fair Elections Act which seeks to undermine democracy. The appointed Senate is simultaneously preparing to stop it.

In all of these cases the majority in the House of Commons also had the majority in the Senate, but still the Senate stood up against the democratically elected Lower House. Despite being unpopular, especially in protecting abortion at the time, the Senate protected fundamental principles.

Democracy depends on womens' rights, labour rights, and actual fair elections to function; all things this Senate has saved. 

Protecting democracy means protecting its principles; but principles aren't elected, and their application isn't always popular. Because of the obvious similarities with the Upper Chamber, for democracy's defense, an appointed Senate sounds perfect for the job.


Ryan Spinney said...

It did nothing of the sort, all it did was offer a few bandaids which do nothing to fix this bill at all. No Tim Harper is right, this was all for show to help obscure how bad this bill is. It shouldn't be altered, it should be scrapped and started over from scratch. Your being played by Steven Harper. said...

Ryan, the Senate only made preliminary proposals to change the bill, the Fair Elections Act is still in the House of Commons. But even then those suggestions already alter the bill on a few substantial points, like eliminating campaign financing loopholes.

Your idea that the Senate has done nothing to fix this bill is factually wrong.

Unknown said...

Let's wait to see what the bill looks like when it passes the Senate before rushing to judgment.