John Ivison: Timely book warns that Canada’s democracy is threatened by political abuse

Just as the Trojans learned the hard way to be wary of Greeks bearing gifts – the “gift” in question being the proverbial Trojan horse – so Canadians should be leery about political parties promising to restore their trust in democracy.

The Liberals used that line in 2015, pledging among other things to ensure the election was the last conducted under the first-past-the-post system; that the Access to Information system would be applied to ministerial offices, and an end to the “undemocratic practise” of tabling omnibus bills to prevent Parliament from properly reviewing legislation.

All of those commitments foundered on the rocks of naked political self-interest. Why risk inconvenient questions about the introduction of deferred prosecution agreements aimed at saving one company (SNC-Lavalin), when the provision could be tucked into an omnibus budget implementation bill and rammed through Parliament?

Con’t Reading