DAMAGING DEMOCRACY: Trudeau Government Trying To Silence Opposition MPs

Ever since Justin Trudeau expressed his admiration for China’s “Basic Dictatorship,” there have been growing doubts about his commitment to democracy.

Those doubts have grown as he broke campaign promises, withheld information from the public, ignored ethics rules, gutted parliamentary watchdogs, and gave privileged access to foreign billionaires.

Now, the Trudeau government is going a step further, introducing changes that will severely limit the ability of opposition MPs to challenge the government.

The changes are being introduced by government house leader Bardish Chagger. In a talking point worthy of the most dishonest governments, Chagger said “We really need to bring the House of Commons into the 21st Century.”

Chagger also added that a goal of the changes is to make parliament “more predictable and productive.”

Here’s the thing: Democracy is not supposed to be “predictable.”

The whole point of democracy is a certain level of unpredictability. We don’t know how every vote will go. We don’t how long a party will keep winning elections. We don’t know what individual members will decide to do.

Dictatorships on the other hand, are very “predictable.” Everything is planned ahead of time, and no opposition can get in the way.

But that’s not how things are supposed to work in Canada.

The proposed changes will restrict the amount of time opposition MPs can speak in Committee. This will let the government ram legislation through without as much discussion, and represents a big reduction in the speaking rights MPs have had throughout history. The Trudeau Liberals view letting MPs speak on issues as a “delay,” and want to limit that debate.

But if they’re trying to make parliament more “efficient” by silencing the opposition, it shows how far they are willing to go to expand their power. After all, there is a big difference between “efficiency” in a parliament, and “efficiency” in administering government. The government is suppsoed to be efficient in how it spends money and manages programs. But a parliament should feature debate and delays when bad legislation needs to be stopped, or at the very least brought to the attention of the public.

The Trudeau Liberals do not understand that.

They already tried to limit the speaking rights of MPs in May of 2016, but withdrew a motion to limit opposition powers when it became controversial.

Now they are trying again.

Both Conservatives and NDP condemn proposed changes

The two largest opposition parties have condemned the Trudeau government’s efforts to stifle debate.

Conservative MP Chris Warkentin said “To remove those opportunities is really an abuse of power and something that we will definitely oppose,” while NDP MP Ian Rankin said, “We do look forward to a healthy debate on this discussion paper, even if it appears healthy debate may be severely restricted around here in the future.”

A disturbing trend

This legislative change is a step in the wrong direction. It will damage Canadian democracy, and give the Trudeau government – who already has a majority – even more power.

Of course, this one change won’t turn Canada into a dictatorship, but it is part of a disturbing trend. Justin Trudeau seems to want to move our political system towards the kind of oppressive regimes he expresses so much admiration for.

It’s no coincidence that someone who admires Fidel Castro’s regime and expresses support for the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party, would want to weaken those who oppose him.

It fits with Trudeau’s gutting of parliamentary watchdogs, demonizing Canadians who are worried about Islamist extremism, ignoring ethical rules, and putting foreign interests ahead of Canadian interests.

Canada must look past the selfies and see the danger being posed by the arrogant and unaccountable Trudeau government.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – Twitter