Canadians have to wonder not only about the federal Liberals’ commitment to democratic reform, but about their understanding of democracy itself.
For the second time in less than a year, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is attempting to change the rules of Parliament to limit the opposition’s ability to hold the Liberals to account and delay the passage of government bills.
That’s only fair, you say. The Liberals have a majority. They should be able to get what they want through the House of Commons, within reason.
Well, if that’s your position, don’t worry. The rules of the House are already stacked in favour of the Trudeau government, as they always have been stacked in favour of majority governments of either major party.
For the most part, all opposition parties can do against majority governments is give them a little heartburn now and then. They can hold legislation up a few days or weeks in the hope that public opinion can be brought to bear on the PM and cabinet. Or maybe the Parliamentary session comes to an end and a bill dies on the order paper.