Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reformer? I Don't Think So

Stephen Harper was once elected as a member of the Reform Party. While I'm not overly upset about proroguing parliament, I will say he is disgracing the name Reform. I am not talking about Preston Manning, I'm talking about the original Canadian Reform Party, the one headed by William Lyon Mackenzie in the 1830's. I am well aware that historically Mackenzie would be considered a Liberal with his opponents forming the basis of the Conservative Party that John A. MacDonald would eventually lead. However, hear me out. Whatever you may think of the 1837 rebellions, they were the catalyst for the granting of responsible government in the Province of Canada. Mackenzie's big problem (and Papineau's in Lower Canada) back then was that the executive and legislative councils were not responsible to the legislative assembly for their actions. In modern Canada, the executive and legislative councils are the Prime Minister and his cabinet and the legislative assembly is the parliament of Canada. There are those who want to look around the world to find reasons to dislike the proroguing of parliament. I would say that it goes against the democratic foundations of this country. The basic idea that the cabinet is responsible to parliament is what men died for in 1837 and 1838.

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