Canada has embarked on uncharted waters because two of the traditional pillars of democracy, the judiciary and Parliament. Historically, these two pillars have upheld a free society by common values and the protection of individuals from intrusion by the state and from the unlawful acts of others.
This has been done by political elites in charge so much that these institutions no longer exist for the public’s benefit and the common good. The political elite now determine our future for their own benefit with no accountability to the public. The public has become a mere spectator in the proceedings. This is creating dissension and divide between the elite decision-makers and the public, especially those residing in the West.
For example, the judiciary has used the Charter as a tool to make itself the unaccountable lord over Canada’s present and future laws, contrary to the clear intention of the drafters of the Charter and the former Liberal government that was introduced the Charter in 1980 by Pierre Trudeau.
Parliament is no longer a forum for public debate and instead a forum for the political parties to promote and advance their agendas for the benefit of their party.
The Crippling of Parliament
Parliament has been crippled and rendered ineffective by the consistent and continuing centralization of privileges and power in the Prime Minister’s Office and Privy Council Office.
The Prime Minister determines all government policies. Cabinet ministers cannot appoint their own personal staff. This flawed system has resulted in the prime minister enjoying almost absolute political power in Canada.
Further, parliamentary practices have removed responsibility from elected members of Parliament whose only job is to vote as directed by party leaders. Canadian MPs’ very existence is now dependent upon the party elites, who approve all nominations, ignoring the views of the local constituency. MPs are provided few opportunities during parliamentary sessions to address issues in the House on matters of concern to their constituents.
Supreme Court Misusing its Power
The Charter of Rights came into effect in 1982 and members of the Supreme Court of Canada have used it to become the most powerful individuals in Canadian history. They have used the Charter to deliberately change our culture and values to make this country one of the most left-wing, “progressive” nations in the world. It abandoned legal precedent to make laws which it believed preferable to those passed by Parliament. If a judge obtains most judges to agree with his/her insight as to what the law should be, it then becomes law and the public is bound by this decision. The court has been able to do so because it is accountable to no one and there is nothing to hold it in check. The court has taken advantage of this fact.
Judges Determining Public Policy
These judges contradict the once accepted judicial role of interpreting the law, not make it. However, using the Charter of Rights, they have widened their jurisdiction in order to determine public policy.
Judges are not qualified to make public policy decisions as they are not equipped to determine the broad implications of such decisions. Nevertheless, they cling to the mistaken belief that they are superior to the public and therefore justified in changing Canada’s social, political, and cultural values.
Both the judiciary and Parliament must actively seek to re-balance their respective roles in order to ensure that our nation once again becomes strong and free, and rooted in the consent of the people—the basis of democracy. Otherwise, polarization and discontent will continue to fester.