Bill C-38 situation shows Conservative Party isn’t concerned about thoughts that aren’t its own
If you thought the Quebecois students were spoiled and entitled, take a look at our government. On June 14 (or June 13, if you follow the rules of Parliament) the last amendment to the massive omnibus budget bill C-38 was defeated by the triumphant Conservative Party, its cheers celebrating the inevitable victory of the government over the opposition and heralding the dawn of a new Canada: a Canada with fewer environmental regulations, fewer concerns for the unemployed and elderly, and fewer Parliamentary restraints on the government.
Many Canadians lamented the defeat of every single amendment proposed by the opposition as the death of Canadian democracy and the final death blow to the power of Parliament to hold the government accountable for its actions. While it is clear that the government either doesn’t understand or doesn’t respect what Parliament does, I wouldn’t call it the death of democracy. More like the death of decency.
The government did not end democracy in Canada, despite showing a great deal of contempt for the idea of Parliament. No, the government showed that it has no concern for any thoughts other than its own, and no concern for the genuine concerns of a good portion of the country that did not vote for them. While claiming the opposition introduced hundreds of amendments merely for the sake of opposition rather than the sake of constructive criticism, the government stubbornly and obliviously stuck to its budget, voting down every amendment without even deigning to consider that the amendment might be valuable.
Even though the Conservatives will eventually get their way, complete with their environmental reform, social safety-net reform, and any number of other non-budgetary reforms that were hidden in the over 400 pages of the “budget,” it is clear that many Canadians are uncomfortable with what the government did. While some blind partisans gloat that the amendments were all refused without proper debate and that their party doesn’t have to listen to anyone because it won an election, many others are genuinely concerned with the arrogance and disrespect the government showed in passing it’s bill. When we were young, the people that always got their way and gloated in their victory were considered spoiled, entitled children. And frankly, that’s what most of the Conservative caucus is now.