Our Democracy is Being Challenged
March 31, 2017
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs is debating the possibility of changing the Standing Orders. The Liberal government has signalled they want to change the rules, extensively, quickly, and possibly without the consent of the other political parties in the House of Commons.
On March 10th, 2017, Government House Leader, The Honourable Bardish Chagger, quietly released a discussion paper on possible changes to the Standing Orders. The changes proposed would give the government even more power to act in a unilateral manner while taking rights away from the opposition parties. The Government’s majority in the House would allow them to change rules that in turn would have a major effect on all Members of Parliament.
These changes will diminish Parliament and largely strip the opposition of its power to hold the Prime Minister and his government to account. This, in my view, shows a lack of respect for democracy.
I believe that any changes to our rules of democracy must allow elected representatives, a say. One party cannot overrule all the opposition parties.
In the interest of democracy, the Liberal Government should not proceed with any of these changes without the consent of all parties.
The Discussion Paper can be found at: https://www.canada.ca/en/leader-government-house-commons/services/reform-standing-orders-house-commons/2017/march.html