Letters to the Editor

Letter: MP Albas should learn ins and outs of Parliament

To the editor:

In a recent report to constituents, Conservative MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla Dan Albas argues that Parliament (comprised of the Governor General for The Queen, the House of Commons and the Senate) are the supreme power in Canadian democracy and that “unelected judges” have no business in running the democratic process.

Mr. Albas is a novice MP with no known background in law or federal politics, other than having been on the Penticton city council for a few years.

Mr. Albas, by now, should have understood that Canadian democracy consists of three equally important branches—legislative (Parliament), executive (government), and judicial. While Parliament is well within its right to pass legislation, its role is also to oversee and provide a balance to the executive.

At present, there is very little such balance since Parliament seems to have been turned into a body which is subservient to the government by virtue of holding a majority.

A former Alberta Conservative MP, Brent Rathgeber, has termed the government members as “trained seals”, i.e. they take their orders from the executive branch.

The Senate, once envisioned as the house of “sober second thought” has also been stacked with unquestioning unelected supporters of the government, as well as members who seem to have behaved in a very questionable manner.

Mr. Albas correctly insinuates that Parliament can, as it does, pass legislation—the House can even override a veto by the Senate.

However, legislation from Parliament cannot override the Constitution or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms—these were not just pieces of legislation, rather they are the fundamental law.

Following Mr. Albas’s line of thinking, Parliament could introduce the death penalty, make torture a legal instrument, remove the right to vote from women or minorities, etc. Such legislation would be disallowed in a court challenge by “unelected judges.”

One wonders which country Mr. Albas is thinking of—Canada has no elected judges.

The government might be well advised to investigate conformance with the Constitution and Charter of any piece of legislation it considers passing. Otherwise it will have to continue spending taxpayers’ money on appeals to court rulings that went against it.

Harri Henschler

West Kelowna

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Legal aid gets rare boost for family cases
 
Views split on bigger medical role for firefighters
 
Tears and cheers shared with Cops for Cancer riders
A Quilt for Warm Memories from Cops for Cancer
 
Former U.S. judge sentenced for trying to bring handguns across border
 
Election 2014: Cindy Schafer to run again for school trustee position
UPDATE: Man facing multiple charges after Surrey car-jacking
 
Teen charged after dramatic crash with Surrey mower
 
UPDATE: Teen fighting for his life after car nearly sheared in half in Surrey crash

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 26 edition online now. Browse the archives.