Stephen Scott, professor emeritus of law at McGill University in Montreal, hailed the court’s strong support for the basic premise of the Senate as an institutionalized means of checks and balances to the elected government.
“The only protection we have from a government with a majority is the Senate. We’ve seen some of what a government can do within parliament,” he said, mentioning omnibus bills and tight controls on Question Period.
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The Senate is likely here to stay, and in its current form, but in Friday’s landmark Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Senate reform — in which the court trumpeted an idealized notion of the upper chamber as a cornerstone of Canada’s democratic process — there can be seen a blueprint of the way it is supposed to work.
[np_storybar title=”John Ivison: Harper reminded he’s not omnipotent, even with majority power” link=”http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/04/25/john-ivison-harper-reminded-hes-not-omnipotent-as-court-dashes-senate-plans/”]
On some days, politics is marble; on others, it’s mud.
On Thursday, life for the Prime Minister was cool and smooth, as the Commissioner of Elections cleared the government of the charge that it rigged the 2011 election in the robocalls affair.
But by Friday, it turned sticky and unpleasant, as Stephen Harper saw his ambition to reform the Senate blocked by the Supreme Court and his democratic reform…
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