Dr. Dawg


| Disqus Comments


The National Post’s John Ivison tells it like it is today—sort of:

Political scientist Donald Savoie has long tracked the draining of power toward the centre - first from Parliament to Cabinet in the postwar years; then from Cabinet to the Prime Minister’s Office under Pierre Trudeau.

But that process has been taken to new heights - or lows - under Stephen Harper. Now that he has control of the House, debates are tiresome and votes a formality. In short, the House of Commons is irrelevant to his strategy. It is too unpredictable and allows the opposition parties the chance to influence the agenda, so, in the same manner that he has tightened control of his government’s message in its dealings with the media, the Prime Minister has sought to do an end run around it.

At several points Ivison seems to blame the quality of the Opposition for the decline—“you can sense the disaffection on the government side at being grilled by a bunch of neophytes who have suddenly found people are taking them seriously because they’ve got the letters ‘MP’ after their name.” But he’s really charting a general malaise. If the Conservatives won’t take Parliament seriously—and they don’t—then Opposition questioning is barely worth the energy required for the research and presentation.

Canadians are just awakening to what a majority government can do if motivated by pure malevolence. No Parliamentary tradition is safe, no unwritten protocol. Responsible government, a mode of governance requiring good will on all sides, is a dead letter under the Harper administration.

The rot is apparent elsewhere as well. Senior public servants are now being caught in deliberate public deception: one assumes they have received their orders from on high. deBeauxOs over at DAMMIT JANET! points to the latest one, while taking a righteous dig at the hapless Peter Kent. Here’s the nub of the thing:

A senior Environment Canada bureaucrat who publicly defended the federal government’s plans to slash funding and eliminate “redundancy” within the country’s ozone monitoring programs privately approved a briefing note that concluded there was no duplication in its network, Postmedia News has learned.

This is, not to put too fine a point upon it, intolerable. Canada is now ruled by a flagrantly unaccountable government abetted by duplicitous senior officials speaking in its name. We don’t have a “democratic deficit.” We have a democratic crisis.

Return to the home page

blog comments powered by Disqus

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on November 22, 2011 11:15 AM.

Police state follies: the G20 and judicial abuse was the previous entry in this blog.

Small world is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 6.3.6