Norman Spector: Inciting Constitutional Treachery or Ignorance?

I do not expect much from the Cons: they are battling for their political life hoping that only an injunction will stop the doctors from pulling the plug on life support. I do, however, expect something from Norman Spector. If he wants to argue about what he views as the democratic short-comings of the parliamentary system that would be one thing–a reasonable thing I should add. But he wants to argue that it is beyond him how the GG could possibly decide to let the coalition form the government.

How Gov. Gen. Jean could possibly decide now that a coalition led by an interim leader and so lacking in democratic legitimacy could provide stable government to Canadians is beyond me.

On October 14, Canadians selected a minority Conservative government. While more people voted for the three opposition parties than for Harper, no one voted for the coalition that it is being proposed; indeed, all three parties explicitly denied during the campaign they would ever consider it.

Norman is either being disingenuous or is simply ignorant of the democratic mechanics of the parliamentary system. In either case, it is shameful that a senior analyst pundit writing for a respectable News agency can be allowed to at best promulgate ignorance and at worst be guilty of inciting the mob to overthrow the constitutional order.  Neither is very edifying for Spector or the CBC.

To repeat, the most basic fact, that 97% of constitutional scholars and Canadian political scientists would agree on:  The central difference between a presidential and parliamentary system is that in a parliamentary system we elect parliaments who then elect the executive.  The democratic will of the people is expressed whenever the parliament the people elected makes the choice for who will lead the executive.  There may be many faults with this system but it is the one we have IN CANADA and it is not anti-democratic to let the duly elected house decide who forms the executive.
What would be anti-democratic would be if the GG succumbed to public pressure and acted against the wishes of the majority of the house.  Royal power too is subject to the consent of the house.  That is the principle of responsible government.

Norman would do well to do some reading and less inciting of the mob.


One thought on “Norman Spector: Inciting Constitutional Treachery or Ignorance?

  1. I’m baffled at the idea that a coalition government is somehow anti-democratic. How might Mr. Spector suggest that the populace vote to elect a coalition government, if such things exist? The electorate’s job, in my estimation, is to apportion the representatives, and, as you say, the representatives then select the executive if there is not a majority party.

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