Having worked in government, I must say I am not a big fan. To me, governments at all levels leave a lot to be desired. They are necessary evils and should be treated as such. They should be compelled to do only what is absolutely essential for good government and not a thing more.
In the City of Toronto, the councillors met late at night for a semi-secret vote (the media had all departed the council chamber) to grant funds to one of their own who had libeled a rival candidate during the election and had been successfully sued by that candidate. The amount was some $65,000 with an added amount of nearly $30,000 to compensate for the taxes on the base settlement. The city’s own solicitor told the council this was illegal. Now a citizens’ group has formed to take all of the councilors who voted for this to court.
This year is an election year. Let us hope the normally butt-headed voters in that city decide it is time for some new blood at the council table and get rid of these “well past their due date” troughers.
In France, the French government is introducing a law that would criminalize domestic arguments between spouses or quasi-spouses, known as the “yelling at your wife” law. It was a former Prime Minister of Canada, who had sponsored new liberal sex laws and divorce legislation, in his former role as the Minister of Justice, who coined the phrase, “The State has no business in the bedrooms of the Nation.”
The proposed French law expands the role of the state to the living room, dining room, kitchen, bathrooms and hallways of a person’s home, and probably the driveway and garden, for that matter.
That brings us to Canada, where the current Conservative government is taking some heat from the columnists and readers of the Toronto Star for proroguing Parliament until the beginning of March. It was due to commence its session on January 25.
I say good on P.M. Stephen Harper. There will be no opportunity for more stupid legislation in the intervening months, and, when it does come back to order, all the bills will have to be re-introduced. In fact, I will bet there will be an election late this year and so those bills will also likely die on the order paper.
Imagine, a whole year in which the government can do absolutely nothing. Could anything be sweeter?
I think it was Belgium that went for an entire year with no legally elected government and nobody missed it.