Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Climate Change Bill Defeated by Unelected Tories

Summed up nicely by the Globe & Mail's Gloria Galloway with her headline. RIP, Reform Party movement.

Unelected Tory senators kill climate bill passed by House

The Conservatives have used their clout in the Senate stacked by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to kill an NDP climate change bill that was passed by a majority of the House of Commons.


It is the first time that the unelected Conservative senators have used their near-majority to kill a bill passed by elected politicians. The absence of more than 15 Liberals from the Senate allowed the bill to be defeated by a margin of 43 to 32.
If there ever was a time to defeat these undemocratic thugs, it's now.

Stephen Harper has set up a defacto dictatorship where the rule of law and Parliamentary supremacy is now threatened.


Michael Harkov said...

Maybe you should be placing the blame where it really belongs. There were 15 Liberal senators that were absent that had they been there doing their jobs, this would not have happened. So where the **** where they? It looks like it is not only in the House that the Liberals don't show up for work.

Anonymous said...

The bill was ridiculous.There was no way to meet the targets anyways.Everyone knows it.

The solution? Have an election and if Iggy/Layton win it they can begin to restack the senate with more favourable lefties and then reintroduce the legislation. hopefully the new senators will show up to vote and pass the bill.

Don't hold your breath. Canadians quite frankly do not think lowering GHG's is a priority anymore.That ship has sailed and Harper knows it.

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

@Michael / @Anonymous,

So, you think it's legitimate that the Conservative Party uses the absences of 15 Senators to defeat legislation passed in the elected House of Commons?

What ridiculous comments.

Anonymous said...


It's called democracy.

If you don't like it then help fix it.

As Chretien once pointed out;if Canadians wanted an elected senate then they should have supported the Charlottetown accord.

Anonymous said...

We have an Opposition that's completely paralyzed because it's too afraid of an election to do its job properly. If Senators are too terrified of losing their jobs to actually do their job, it won't solve anything. An unelected Senate is basically Canada's last best hope for democracy and representation in government right now.

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

@Anon 1:32,

I am helping by trying to defeat the Conservative Party.

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

@Anon 1:41,

The Harper Bots are in full force spewing nonsense, I see.

Let me edumacate.

- Legislation passed the House of Commons.
- The Senate defeated it.

Therefore, we are subjected to governance by an unelected body.

You might be happy with a dictatorship, I am not.

CanadianSense said...

How about simple math? 15 Liberals fail to show up for work and a Bill dies.

This Bill was not supported by the Conservatives in Parliament or in their platform it is logical their Senators would respect their wishes.

Jim (Progressive Right) said...


So, the Senate isn't truly sober second thought, but merely a tool for the governing party to push through its agenda?

Michael Harkov said...

So, you think it's legitimate that the Conservative Party uses the absences of 15 Senators to defeat legislation passed in the elected House of Commons?


It doesn't matter Jim, the Senate was doing what it does and can do. Harper has always said he would prefer to have an elected Senate. It is utterly amazing how many Liberals are suddenly coming out the woodwork to whine piteously about an unelected Senate now that the tables are turned. They were just fine when it suited THEIR agenda, weren't they?

15 Liberal Senators that were AWOL could have prevented this had they not been negligent in doing their jobs are the reason why you lost, nothing more. Suck it up.

CanadianSense said...

I don't know if the 15 missing Liberal were sober, they never showed up.

The math does not add up. Liberals were MIA.

wilson said...

Let me edumacate.

- Legislation passed the House of Commons without the support of the elected government.
-Upon 2nd reading, instead of sending the PMB to committee,
the Liberal Senators called for a vote, in error.
-15 Liberal Senators were absent therefore it was impossible to quickly correct the error made by their fellow Senators.
- The Senate majority voted no, and thusly the bill can go no further.
-Liberals and the media in a bizarre turn of events,
blame the Conservatives for 'Liberal error made worse by Liberal absentees'

Jim (Progressive Right) said...


I'm not complaining about an unelected Senate. I'm complaining that a government, elected on a platform of accountability, needs the unelected Senate to defeat legislation.

The only people that complain about unelected government officials are Tories, except when they need them, then they're lauded.

Jim (Progressive Right) said...


Show me parliamentary convention that only the "government" may pass legislation.

Show me in the Senate's Hansard where the Liberal Party called for the vote.

Here's the link.

LMA said...

Last October 2009, the Libs sided with the Cons to delay passage of Bill C 311 and send it back to Committee for "further study". Now they have supposedly made an "error" and the bill is dead. IMO, Iggy can talk all he wants about fighting climate change but in the end he can never be trusted.

LMA said...

According to CTV News website, Senator Marjory LeBreton stated that Tory senators wanted to stand the Bill and leave it on the Senate schedule for further discussion, but Senator Grant Mitchell disagreed and a vote was thereby forced.

Dennis Buchanan said...

Quite interesting, but I suppose not surprising, that the Tory senators call a snap vote, killing legislation passed by a majority of elected officials, and then blame the Liberals for not showing up: "Yes, it's undemocratic, but it's not our fault: It's the Liberals' fault because they weren't there to protect Canadian democracy from us." I guess they can't help themselves?

The Liberals' absence is a separate problem, but it's hardly surprising in an unelected body that it usually valued for doing absolutely nothing, filled with political patronage appointments. I would be inclined to ask how many Tory senators are absent on an average day, too. (When you're planning to call an ambush vote, you call your friends to the party but leave your enemies out of the loop. Wouldn't surprise me at all if the Tories were attending in record numbers that day.)

Wilson, point on electoral law: Canadians don't elect a government. Canadians elect Parliament. Under our constitution, Parliament is supreme, and selects the government itself. If Parliament is okay with a minority Tory government, Harper keeps his nice house. If Parliament decides it wants a Liberal/NDP coalition, that's fine too.

Of course, it's never quite that simple, but the ultimate point is quite straightforward: Under Canadian democracy, the Prime Minister does *not* have a veto. We are *not* ruled by executive fiat. Accordingly, with a minority government, it is to be expected that bills would be passed into law notwithstanding the governing party's opposition to them.

When Mr. Harper uses his executive power of appointment to kill bills that he lacks the support to kill in the House of Commons...Jim is right, that is a threat to Canadian democracy.

By the way, Michael Harkov: "the Senate was doing what it does and can do." [My emphasis.] Actually, no, that's not true. It can, certainly, but it generally doesn't. This was quite unprecedented.

CanadianSense said...


Brian Mulroney had a majority and Liberal Senators did not feel compelled to accept Free Trade or GST as the will of parliament.

Flash forward BC, Alberta and Ontario are missing 38 seats according to Democratic Reform with Bloc-NDP-Liberals delaying and blocking it.

I would think the greatest threat to democracy are the Liberals pandering to QC again.

Laurier did it the Conscription Crisis.