Contempt and consent - Macleans.ca

Contempt and consent

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Dan Gardner talks to Peter Russell and considers what this election will mean for the future of Parliament.

“The status quo is just not tenable, for anybody,” says Peter Russell, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto and one of the country’s most respected political scientists. But a Conservative majority would be worse. “It would send a bad message about Parliamentary democracy if a government brought down for contempt, very serious contempt, on the finding of a Speaker, is rewarded with a majority. I think it would encourage Mr. Harper and maybe those after him to be contemptuous of Parliament. And then I think we’re in real trouble.”