Yesterday was the 800th anniversary of the day King John reluctantly signed the Magna Carta, the document that was the foundation of our parliamentary democracy, and the rule of law.
And most importantly declared that nobody was above the law, not even the king.
So it's ironic that few people have celebrated that anniversary more than Jason Kenney.
800 years ago today King John added his seal to the #MagnaCarta, establishing government under the rule of law. pic.twitter.com/sc9pGU4XzJ— Jason Kenney ن (@jkenney) June 15, 2015
In one tweet after the other.
Even though we are now ruled by his mad king, who has placed himself above the law over and over again. And has made a mockery of our democracy.
And what this country desperately needs, as Errol Mendes points out, is a Magna Carta moment.
In the actions of the Harper government we see all too many instances of powerful people trying to set themselves above the law. How else can one read an attempt by the government to hide inside a massive omnibus budget bill a law that would retroactively invalidate an investigation into unlawful conduct by the RCMP — an attempt to re-write the application of the law in the past?
When a government elected on a promise of accountability and transparency works to undermine every independent officer of Parliament charged with keeping the government open and transparent (the nuclear safety commissioner, the parliamentary budget officer, the chief military police complaints commissioner, the acting privacy commissioner and, most recently, the correctional investigator), is it exercising power on the people’s behalf, or merely to trash its enemies and settle scores?
For Stephen Harper's assault on our democracy is without precedent, and the list of his democratic atrocities is so long and so foul it's almost beyond belief.
As a new report called Dismantling Democracy, which is being released today by the non-partisan coalition Voices-Voix, makes only too clear.
It has been brutish, boorish, and in the case of his recent decision to rewrite history for crass political purposes, couldn't be more contemptuous or abhorrent.
When is a constitutionally protected right in Canada not a right after all? When Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government says so, it appears.
The “law-and-order” Conservatives have just set an appalling precedent by using Bill C-59, the budget bill, to retroactively erase citizens’ Access to Information rights and to protect the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in connection with the now-defunct long-gun registry, one of the government’s pet hates.
This casual assault on the rule of law is unprecedented, and abhorrent.
And Mendes is right, if Harper and his Cons are allowed to get away with calling that action merely "closing a legal loop hole" our bleeding democracy could be fatally damaged.
When a government’s abuse of power is laughed off as a “loophole”, a mere detail, we’re watching the foundations being laid for arbitrary government — for government operating outside the rule of law. The kind of government the Magna Carta was supposed to free us from.
The Magna Carta is the foundation of the British parliamentary system and, through that system’s legacy, of free societies around the world. In Canada, in 2015, we’re seeing that foundation being torn down, brick by brick.
And yes, after looking on so helplessly or so passively for so long, as Stephen Harper demolished our democracy and our values, we really do need a Magna Carta moment.
A moment when we finally say enough is ENOUGH.
Which is why I've always argued that progressives need to view the next election as more than just another election.
If we want to motivate as many Canadians as possible to turn out and vote, we need to turn it into a sacred crusade or movement to take back our country and restore the rule of law.
And of course, stop the tyrant.
Before we wake up some morning, and find ourselves living in a police state, in a Canada we don't recognize.
We need to put our country before our parties, and unite to defeat the Con regime, instead of fighting each other.
So we can make sure we crush them.
And are able to send our mad king a message he can't rewrite, or ignore...
His rule of terror is over.
Enough IS enough. His time has passed.
And he's more than good to go...
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