Monday, 24 March 2014

The Spectacularly Fraudulent Pretense of Fair Elections Act

Pierre Poilievre has left no stone unturned in his search for false pretense to justify his entirely unnecessary and deeply undemocratic Fair Elections Act. Apart from the minister himself and his party’s loyal coterie, there is no support for this legislation. Indeed, the response has been nothing short of damning. Canada, once a world leader in forward thinking election law – from the establishment of Elections Canada in 1920 (the first agency of its kind) to subsequent changes to party financing (including the establishment of the Commissioner of Canada Elections in 1974) – has, in what is surely an unprecedented turn for this country, been roundly condemned not only by its own leading intellectuals but by a raft of international observers worried about what the changes portent for Canadian democracy.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Parliament Should Follow the Court's Lead and Assert Its Independence

The aborted appointment of Marc Nadon reaches much deeper than a single failed judicial appointment. Instead it speaks to the worst tendencies in the current government and deep-rooted institutional failures. It is a government that sees the constitution – whether the written text or long established convention – as something to be disregarded when it becomes politically inconvenient. It is a government that fundamentally rejects the federal nature of Canada and, as a consequence, is a government that viscerally rejects the multilateralism and dialogue that such an arrangement necessitates.