Harper and the Great Reform Act of 1832

(This was posted November 25 at 1:53pm)

Jim Hacker: Dorothy, this could be like the Great Reform Act of 1832. These councils are like old rotten boroughs. Y'know, half a dozen people deciding who'll be in the town hall for the next four years.
Dorothy Wainwright: Precisely.
Jim Hacker: And I shall be the great reformer! Hacker's Reform Bill. I shall introduce it myself.
Prime Minister James George Hacker: The power of this country does not lie in offices and institutions, it lies in the stout hearts and strong wills of the yeomen of Britain!
Annie Hacker: Women have the vote, too!
Jim Hacker: The yeowomen of Britain. Yeopersons. Yeopeople? No...
Prime Minister James George Hacker: The people of this island race. On their broad and wise shoulders...
Annie Hacker: You can't have wise shoulders.
Prime Minister James George Hacker: On their broad shoulders and wise hearts... heads... In their wise heads lies our destiny. We must give back power to the people!
Jim Hacker: And I shall be the one to introduce this... um... What shall I call this new scheme?
Dorothy Wainwright: Democracy?
Steve Janke (on his recently highly streamlined blog) writes about Stephen Harper's push to reform the Constitution in ways that don't have anything precisely to do with Quebec. Namely, he's thinking about limiting federal government powers in areas of provincial responsibility.

Steve (Janke, not Harper) is noticing that the main benefit of this plan is not to be a money bill to restrict future federal spending (though it is also that), but rather that this is keeping the responsibility of various elected representatives clearly delinated. I don't think this is as huge as Steve (Janke, not Harper) says, though. For example, the City of Edmonton goes ga-ga to provide huge amounts of social services that are the provinces job, and it doesn't raise so much as an eyebrow amoungst the socialist set. Clearly this idea Steve (Harper, not Janke) has is an admirable one, but its not the paradise that Steve (Janke, not Harper) is talking about.

Of course, if you really don't believe me, you can go read about it from Angry in the Great White North. Or check the CTV article, or the blogging opinions of Kerplonka.


JB said...

Nice to see there's another fan our there keeping Yes Prime Minister (and Yes Minister) alive. I think the quote that best relates to our experience in Canada is:

Hacker: "Are you saying that winking at corruption is government policy?"
Humphrey: "No, no, Minister. It could never be government policy. That is unthinkable. Only government practice."

And is it just me, or is your "Janke, not Harper" bit straight out of The Perishers ("the porters, not the turkeys")?

Don't mind about Edmonton...it's a lost cause.