Thursday, 7 February 2008

Unusual doesn't begin to describe it.

The Harper government will introduce an unusual confidence motion as early as Monday demanding that the Senate pass the Conservative's crime bill by March 1.

Isn't the point of the Senate to scrutinize legislation, independent of the House of Commons?

Or as Sir. John A. put it There would be no use of an Upper House, if it did not exercise, when it thought proper, the right of opposing or amending or postponing the legislation of the Lower House. It would be of no value whatever were it a mere chamber for registering the decrees of the Lower House. It must be an independent House, having a free action of its own, for it is only valuable as being a regulating body, calmly considering the legislation initiated by the popular branch, but it will never set itself in opposition against the deliberate and understood wishes of the people

Now I am not necessarily a fan of the Senate myself, but it does exist, and its function is well defined and understood as part of the process. So what the Cons are doing, is completely illogical.

Even if the Liberals support the motion (which they should, it costs them nothing) the Senate is not obligated to obey the motion. There is a some irony here. Even though I question the value of our current setup, I do find it satisfying to see the Senate stymie Harper's desire to run Canada as his own personal fiefdom. By his own actions, he's justifying the existence of the Senate. Under a Harper government, I'd be scared witless if there wasn't a second chamber devoted to second-guessing legislation.

I know the Cons want to reform the Senate, but they can't just make things they don't like go away by wishing really hard. There is a process, and they are obligated to follow it. They are NOT to make up their own rules. But this is nothing new from them, is it?

Update: Oh for the love of! Liberal Senators, if you didn't know this, you aren't allowed to think for yourselves. You must DO EXACTLY WHAT STEPHANE DION TELLS YOU. He's your leader, and leaders lead, followers follow. No deviations, no independent thought or action allowed. Just look at the Conservative caucus for an example of how well this principle works.

Conservative theory of party management.

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