David Eaves considers the flip side of Peter Milliken’s ruling.
While some are understandably happy about the decision the fact is this is lowest-common-denominator democracy. Presently the executive – one that ran on the notion of accountability – believes it is accountable to no one. Indeed, it is not even embarrassed to openly argue the case. The good news is that, thankfully, the Speaker has intervened and signalled that, in fact, the government is accountable to at least one group of people, parliamentarians. On the surface, it is more than a little embarrassing to all Canadians that, to avoid accountability, the present government would attempt to break centuries of parliamentary tradition and violate the very rules that sustain our democracy. Again, yesterday is not a high-water mark – it is a low-water mark for all of us.
But there is something still more disturbing in yesterday’s events. If this government is unwilling to be accountable to elected officials who have the power of tradition and rule of law, how responsive will they be anyone else?