C-38 and the inevitability of majority government

Elizabeth May talks to the West Block about last week’s votes.

Tom Clark: Deal with the points that the government makes about this though. They’re saying first of all the Opposition parties would have voted against all these bills even if they had been separated out. They said that it was a colossal waste of time, that the last 24 hours, 36 hours changed nothing. The bill passed, everything becomes law. So they said, it’s expensive, it cost $120,000 a day to keep Parliament sitting and so you wasted time and money and changed nothing. 

Elizabeth May: Well why do we bother with elections really when you think about it. All that time and money spent. You know, how about just shutting down Parliament and saying to Stephen Harper, okay well now that you’re elected we know how everything is going to go because you’ve got the most seats so we’ll go home. We’ve lost the threat of what democracy is about in Westminster Parliamentary tradition. Too many people think we elect a prime minister. We don’t. We elect 308, soon to be 338 Members of Parliament and each one of us has a responsibility to do our job and the idea that it’s a time waster to try and fix legislation, I promise you, if we’d accepted my amendments, Canada would have saved tens of millions dollars because the kind of…the poison pills, just like a warehouse of poison pills in that bill; you’re never going to get through all of them in advance but we could have fixed things. That was the goal.

Inevitability was part of the argument Lisa Raitt tried to make (see the 7:25pm entry) on Thursday evening and Ms. May is probably right to follow that logic to its inevitable absurdity. If the only vote that matters is the one on election day, why bother at all with a Parliament? Why bother with MPs?

Oddly, the inevitability argument actually compels government MPs, even more than opposition MPs, to justify their existences.




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C-38 and the inevitability of majority government

  1. Tom Clark is such a @#$%ing moron. That the government even tried to make this point is ridiculous, but to have someone in the media force May to have to treat it as though it’s a point that deserves anything other than ridicule is beyond the pale.

    Of course, those who like to argue ad nauseum that the media has a left-wing bias will continue to ignore the blatant right-wing bias that Global (not to mention Clark’s former employer, CTV) has. I guess things like this just don’t stick out because they seem like perfectly reasonable questions to ask.

    • Maybe he wanted May to comment on it because it was so ridiculous.

      • Well, that’s a more charitable reading than I’m willing to give it, but I guess it’s possible. If I was the reporter, I would have clarified that the government’s position is absurd and then asked for a response. Reporters should be bound to reporting the truth to the best of their ability, not to maintaining a supposedly “bias-free” position.

        I’m just sick of the media just reporting party talking points without evaluating them, as though to say “this is idiotic/wrong/a lie, etc.” is somehow against their profession. If someone is lying, misleading, or being an asshat, I think that should be the story, rather than “Such and such is true, gov says” when everyone knows it isn’t true. That isn’t just a job for pundits (yes, there are some issues that are open to interpretation and debate, but there are others that really aren’t).

        Anyway, I’m just so pissed off about the denigration of our political system and the media that’s meant to hold it to account. Macleans does a better job than most, which is why I’m here.

        • I’ll agree with you that the media generally has become largely an outlet for press releases and sound bites without any deep evaluation. They seem far more concerned about ensuring there’s plenty of time for celebrity coverage than about any genuine investigative work.

          Subject: [macleansca] Re: C-38 and the inevitability of majority government

  2. Well why do we bother with elections really when you think about it.
    All that time and money spent. You know, how about just shutting down
    Parliament and saying to Stephen Harper, okay well now that you’re
    elected we know how everything is going to go because you’ve got the
    most seats so we’ll go home.

    Don’t worry, Liz, I’m sure it’s on their agenda.

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