B.C. Premier’s action raises question — should PM and premiers be able to decide when legislature opens and closes?

Premier Christy Clark’s decision to dispense with a fall session of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia is unfortunate. Parliaments are essential to holding governments accountable. Question periods are not always edifying, but they are vital to the political order.

The legislature was adjourned at the end of May. It is true that in 2011 it sat for 48 days; this year it has sat for 47 – a small difference in one sense. The expected gap, however, is large; the public of B.C. will be without its representative body for eight months.

Moreover, in the past two centuries, the examination and passage of legislation have become integral parts of the governing process in democracies. Any notion that there has been a shortage of legislative business is unpersuasive. Before the adjournment on May 31 “until further notice,” the MLAs of B.C. consented to a number of substantial bills in unseemly haste.

CLICK HERE to read the entire Globe and Mail editorial (Sept. 21, 2012).

Premier Christy Clark says she tries to stay away from Victoria because it has “a sick culture” and no real people.

In the comments she made to a National Post reporter in May and which were reprinted this week, she clearly meant that politicians, civil servants and reporters are not real people.

The clue was her lament about the unhealthy “inside-the-beltway debate.” In other words, she was talking about the legislature and everyone who hovers around it.

It’s clear that the warm feelings she once had for the big house on Belleville Street have cooled dramatically.

CLICK HERE to read the entire Postmedia News editorial (Sept. 22, 2012).

Should a new Canadian Constitution restrict the power of the PM and premiers to open and close the legislature whenever they want? You can send a letter letting key politicians across Canada know what you think HERE.