Thursday, June 21, 2007

On selective democracy

I'm surprised it took this long for the seemingly inevitable deal to be reached, but the Libs and Cons in the Senate have agreed that both the budget and the Kyoto implementation bill will be voted on tomorrow. But even an agreement reached by his own party isn't stopping at least one prominent Con from declaring that he wants to see the Senate continue to block the will of the majority in Parliament:
The Harper government has struck a deal with the Liberal-dominated Senate that will see royal assent today to a controversial private member's bill on implementing the Kyoto accord on climate change in return passing the 2007 federal budget without amendments.

The Senate's deputy government leader Gerald Comeau announced the agreement Thursday afternoon after the upper chamber's national finance committee fast-tracked the budget bill through two days of hearings this week that included Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald encouraging Liberals to pass amendments to the new equalization formula...

Peter Van Loan, the government House leader in the Commons, said he wasn't aware of any deal and added that he hoped the Kyoto bill wouldn't go through because it was bad for Canada.
Needless to say, Van Loan joins his boss in having a consistent track record of claiming that an unelected Senate shouldn't be standing in the way of bills passed by a majority in the House of Commons - at least, when it comes to bills put forward by his party. But as is the case for so many of his Con partymates, Van Loan's apparent interest in the will of Canadian voters ends at the point where he disagrees with them in the slightest.

Fortunately, it looks like Van Loan and company will be forced to accept defeat on Bill C-288. But even as the current standoff seems to have come to an end and Canada's federal politicians head home for the summer, the Cons don't seem even faintly likely to change their playbook when Parliament reconvenes this fall. And it'll be important then to keep in mind just how brazen the Cons remain in applying double standards now.

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