Harper rewrites the rules of democracy

Photo by Chris Wattie / Reuters

By Carol Goar, the Toronto Star, 25 September 2012

Prime Minister Stephen Harper caught Canadians off-guard in April when he sprang a massive, multi-part budget implementation bill on the nation.

Bill C-38, weighing in at 425 pages, went far beyond enacting the provisions of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s 2012 budget. It changed 70 different laws covering everything from environmental reviews to the role of charities. It authorized spending cuts worth $5 billion without telling the public where the axe would fall. (Treasury Board President Tony Clement was to provide details later — but still hasn’t.) The legislation was rammed through the House of Commons before MPs had finished scrutinizing it.

Harper’s implicit message: I have a parliamentary majority. I’m setting the rules now. (…)

Now the government is poised to do it again. (…)

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Photo by Chris Wattie / Reuters.