Thursday, June 09, 2016

What Part of Parliamentary Government Does Rona Not Get

Tory interim leader, Rona (as in "Donna") Ambrose is aghast that the Senate is refusing to rubber stamp the government's assisted dying bill. That the senators should have the audacity to introduce amendments before sending it back to the Commons for reconsideration is, to Ms. Ambrose, some sort of affront.

It's as though Rona doesn't understand that the Senate does not have power to legislate. It receives legislation from the Commons, reviews it and where it deems appropriate, amends it but then sends it back to the Commons where MPs can accept the legislation as received or further amend it and send it back to the Senate. Negotiations can ensue along the way.

The last time the Commons and Senate couldn't find a way to get along was in 1947. There's no reason to suspect a deadlock in this case. The Senate will send the bill back with amendments to make the law comply with the Carter decision. If the government won't bend, the Senate will probably sigh deeply, approve the bill as tendered, and leave it up to the judiciary to toss it.

Rona knows all this. She's just being pernicious, availing herself of another opportunity to engage in that greatest of Tory traditions - slagging the Supreme Court of Canada and the Senate.

Then again, when Ambrose essentially throws her support behind Trudeau, the Liberals should be on guard. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.


David E said...

It's good to see the Senate work as it is supposed to.

Ambrose is affronted because under Harper the Senate was told what to do every time and rubber stamps were ready to go.

The Mound of Sound said...

I feel the same way, David. After the last decade it seems strange to witness the Senate doing what it was intended to do - review legislation and advise the Commons. By all appearances the senators seem to welcome their responsibilities to the country.

What remains unclear, however, is whether the Trudeau government will be welcoming to this rehabilitated Senate. JT seemed to be of that mind when he dissolved the Senate Liberal caucus but this contentious legislation will be his true litmus test.

Northern PoV said...

CON logic:
Ambrose agreed that bill C-14 strikes the right balance, although she actually voted against it.

No wonder she is confused as to the role of the Senate. They were so much better behaved under Harper, eh? (They knew their role: Pass the bills and collect cash for CPC & selves.)

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes, well Rona has a lot of problems, NPoV. You could say she's bristling with problems.