Advice to the Minister of Democratic Reform

Bruce Hicks


The Conservative Party of Canada ran in 2006 on an agenda of democratic reform that was to include election dates for the Commons fixed at four years and Senate elections with fixed eight-year terms. After assuming power, its legislation for quadrennial fixed election dates was abrogated within two years of its passage and again two years later. Its Senate reform bills have never gotten beyond second reading and, in most cases, only made it to first. And the prime minister has twice convinced the Governor General to use her reserve powers to protect the government from parliamentary accountability. This paper outlines possible ways to rehabilitate the government’s reform agenda.

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