I have had occasion to wonder what world some of our MPs live in and yesterday was one of those occasions. The Conservative MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla, Dan Albas, spoke out about what he feels is a real threat to our democracy – the courts. He thinks that people are going to the courts to challenge legislation that his government is pushing through, you know, going through the back door to change what democratically elected MPs are doing in Parliament. And that people are pushing the courts to force policies that the government doesn’t like:
“Often the Plan B is to do an end-run around our democratic process and turn to the courts where it seems some judges are quite happy to engage. This can result in decisions contrary to what have been decided in our democratic process.” (From CBC’s The House)
There is only one problem with this rant of Albas’ and it’s this: That’s the actual point of the court system. The courts are one of the three branches of democracy in this country – the judicial one, to be specific. Citizens are allowed to use the courts when they believe that laws being made by those democratically elected representative are unconstitutional.
It is not secret that the Conservative government is no fan of the courts. They have fought against and ignored Supreme Court decisions since they were first elected in 2006. They have also spent a lot of time trying to re-imagine the way democracy was designed to work in this country. This is just one blatant example of that.