Thursday, December 01, 2022

Today's News: WTF is a Henry the 8th act?

The most useful thread I saw today, explaining what a "Henry the 8th" clause is and how it works: Here is a key tweet: And the thread ends here: This is why Premier Loon thinks she can pass a Sovereignty Act that will permit Cabinet ministers to change Alberta laws without having to get a vote in the Alberta legislature for them.

  Here are some quotes from Evan Scrimshaw's piece:
The UCP can kill the thing, but the problem is, I don’t even care if they do. A government proposing to give itself the powers to indefinitely change the law without the legislature is a government that is undeserving of power at any time, and one that needs to be dragged out of office immediately.
...Smith’s voter base is people for whom Alberta is the most important signal post of their identity, but we know that’s a minority of the province. We know from polls that support for the Sovereignty Act before this was underwater and generally in the 30s, we know from Quebec that support for independence and generally pulling further from Ottawa is lowest in the cities, and we know that the reason Quebec independence died as an issue is that every generation views collectivism more favourably than the last and that when the separatists tried to restoke the fire at various time young people said fuck no.
The idea that this is going to play well for Smith in Calgary is for the birds, and this is the kind of thing that’s unspinnable. The professional class of that city, the people who have consistently elected the PCs and now the UCP, are not going to tolerate this....They’re the kinds of people who make a lot of money and would like to keep a lot of it, but also do not like radical or crazy governments. After what we saw earlier this month in the US, the crazy penalty is real. And Danielle Smith’s government is insane.
I’m not saying she’s gonna lose, because I know better than to write off a government in a place where the voters are naturally partisan for them, but this is beyond just day to day nonsense. This is an attack on democracy, and it is one that just kickstarted a constitutional crisis. From now till the election, Alberta will be in a substantially heightened state of chaos, all because one woman thinks she should be above the law.
... She has started a constitutional fire that will take months if not years to put out, and said fuck the consequences in the process. She is governing for those whose patriotism runs out at the provincial border, and she is risking people’s lives and livelihoods on what is at best a stunt and at worst an attempt to end-run democracy.
Lord may it bite her in the ass.
At the Globe and Mail, Andrew Coyne describes how meaningless the Act will prove to be in the end -- and it was Coyne invented the "Premier Loon" designator for Smith in the first place:
This is how it always ends with populism. What begins as a call for “power to the people” inevitably devolves into “all power to the leader.” For once a threat has been identified to the people – once Us has been divided from Them – the leader must have maximum power to defend Us from Them. And yet the most likely effect of this breathtaking power grab is not to strengthen the province or its government, but to make it ungovernable: the province defying the feds, cities defying the province, the courts sidelined, the legislature neutered.
And for what? For all the rhetorical invocation of a marauding federal government bent on causing maximum harm to Alberta, it remains the highest-earning, lowest-taxed, most favoured province in the country. The instances of actual, as opposed to asserted, constitutional overreach on the part of the feds are few, as the courts have consistently ruled. The bill is a phony cure for an invented disease.
It’s constitutional madness, of course, as the courts will inevitably rule. Only then will we discover whether the government that advanced and defended the bill in such disingenuous terms was telling the truth about respecting the courts.
Here is Chantal's suggestion: Finally, I also saw some good news today:


rumleyfips said...

My ideal scenario is : NDP win, law declared unconstitutional by SCC, law repealed. Everything done by Albertans.

Cathie from Canada said...

Sounds like a plan to me!