Sunday, June 21, 2009

Illuminating series in the Star

Trying to have a quiet day in the blogosphere here, but there are things you cannot but help draw attention to when they catch your eye, like these observations in today's "Sham-ocracy" series in the Star, "Turned-off Canadians tuning out."
IT DIDN'T HAPPEN overnight. Instead, this trend has been in the works over decades with both Progressive Conservatives and Liberals in government, though many observers agree that the worrisome trends have accelerated since Prime Minister Stephen Harper took power in 2006.

University of Toronto political science professor Lorraine Weinrib charges that Harper has an "extended track record" of showing disdain for the principles and practices at the heart of Canada's constitutional system.

"While Harper touts the democratic principle as his ideal, his actions align with another principle – an all-powerful executive authority that makes his own rules," she writes in an essay for a book titled Parliament Democracy in Crisis.

She notes how the Conservatives cancelled the court challenges program, which provided funding for court challenges by rights advocates. Harper himself has challenged the non-partisan officers of Parliament, such as the head of Elections Canada and the ethics commissioner. (emphasis added)
That emphasized part is why some of we bloggers are committed to that Harper free Canada thing...:)

This is a series of reports to follow, picking up on Jim Travers' recent series of columns on the same topic. Good for the Star for pursuing this topic. The political events of the last 9 months or so have been illuminating about the weaknesses in our constitutional system that a prime minister can exploit. As it turns out, in most instances of late, it's not been to the good end of the spectrum.