Sunday, August 28, 2011

Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition

My friend James Bowden has written a wonderful piece on a vital part of our parliamentary system. The role Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition is vital. James explains the origins of this part of our system and why loyalty is essential in this role. Loyalty to the Crown is loyalty to Canada. The Crown is the living embodiment of Canada.

I contend that the Bloc Quebecois should never have taken on the role or title of “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition” in the 35th Parliament simply because it became the second largest party with 54 seats, compared to the Reform Party’s 52. This is not an argument against the presence of the Bloc quebecois in parliament (they were duly elected representatives), but a rebuke of the parliamentary injustice that allowed such a party to become Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition during the 35th Parliament. I base this argument on an interpretation of both British and Canadian sources, because the Canadian traditions developed directly from its British tradition, and on the nature of convention. I refuse to elevate the custom to that the party with the second largest number of seats becomes the Official Opposition to a constitutional convention. Certainly, the presence of an Official Opposition is a constitutional requirement and practical necessity in order that parliament effectively hold the government to account – but the presence of such a function is distinct from the determination of which party takes on the role. I will also examine Speaker Gilles Parent’s ruling from 1996 (the second session of the 35th Parliament) on the status of the Official Opposition and point out some bizarre inconsistencies and mistakes therein.


bertie said...

The opposition has not been loyal since PM Harper became PM.They have actually been confrontational and just about treasonous at times.The opposition during the minority governments of PM Harper should have been jailed for the way they opposed every move by the Canadian Government.That is why this adulation for Jack is so disgusting.He opposed everything the government tried to do without even reading the policies.And these MSM jerks call him LOYAL..Maybe they should be jailed also.

James W.J. Bowden said...

Bertie, this is a bit hyperbolic. Her Majesty's Opposition should normally oppose Her Majesty's Government and in so doing hold it to account. The notion of jailing Opposition Leaders is antithetical to a liberal democratic parliamentary system. I have found no evidence to suggest that any Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition after Lucien Bouchard was inherently disloyal. The moniker of "loyal" means loyalty to the Crown, not agreement with the prime minister and the government's policies.

bertie said...

Enough of the BS James.Jack would say he was not backing the policies before they were even read.Good or bad the opposition has to do some paper work and know what in hell is in the policy to oppose it.And have poll and see how many Canadians did not find the oppositions try to bring down a just elected Government treasonous.You have your lefty view and I have the view of Canadians.We do not elect these ass holes (lefties) to just try and take down the government.They did not come up with one idea to help Canada during that minority time.5 wasted years of opposition,during which JACK did squat,but he collected his salary and smiled a lot.Thank god this charade of a funeral is over and we can get the leftist MSM (except the Sun & fox news) back to just attacking our government.And loyalty to the crown means to Canada jerk-off..5 years of attacking Canada,s armed forces was pathetic.And we all know what party was doing that don,t we.

Roy Eappen said...

Bertie, this was James's article I'm quoting. You are entitled to your opinions but don't be rude please.

I Support Lord Black