Cold Hard Wonk

No sentiment but politics

The 143-Year-Old Virgin0

Posted by JJ in Federal Elections, Bad Press, Golden Tacks (Tuesday July 13, 2010 at 11:47 pm)

The omnibus budget recently passed by the Senate has attracted some criticism, and rightly so. Bundling everything under the sun into a single piece of legislation makes sense only if you view parliament as an administrative hurdle, rather than a lawmaking body. Parliamentary committees have enough difficulties dealing with relatively narrow inquiries. They can hardly be expected to properly explore the implications of a budget (already a sizable stack of paper) further laden with detritus.

But the Globe and Mail’s editorial has made a serious error:

Loading much of the government’s agenda into one omnibus bill and then demanding its passage on threat of an election is entirely inappropriate in a mature democracy. Parliament has an obligation to carefully scrutinize all legislation. Bills with unnecessarily diverse objectives thwart this duty.

From which one might conclude that, in a mature democracy, the government should refrain from doing things which make it hard for parliament to do its job.

Rubbish.

In a mature parliamentary democracy, parliament controls the government. How mature is a democracy if parliament won’t stand up to the government under the threat of *gasp* an election?

Maturity, it seems, will still be some time in coming.