Canadian Senate Reins in Trudeau

Canada has a parliament modeled on the British one, though the upper house of that parliament is called the Senate rather than "the House of Lords." The Senate was described by Canada's first prime minister as the house of 'sober second thought.' In England this became true of the House of Lords because all real power passed over time to the House of Commons, but the House of Lords was entitled to delay the enforcement of laws passed by the 'lower' house for as much as two years. In Canada, the Senate has an actual veto power.

In advance of the Senate's vote on his Emergency Act decree, Justin Trudeau has withdrawn the decree. Plainly this is because he did not have the votes. He only got it through the lower house by a parliamentary maneuver that allowed him to declare it a 'confidence vote,' such that if he lost the vote his entire governing coalition would lose power and face a new election. His allies in the New Democratic Party expressed great reluctance about having to vote for this act, and about its wisdom, but they finally went along with it to avoid losing power. No similar tactic was available in the Senate.

It is worth noting, however, that the financial powers used under this act have been made permanent by the bureaucracy separate from the need to invoke the Emergencies Act. Banks are already moving to unfreeze accounts, but the power to make the banks freeze accounts in retribution for political disagreement will remain in place.

For now, at least. This is a significant defeat for the forces of evil -- I use the term unironically and advisedly -- that may perhaps lead to other defeats. They showed their faces, and now must wait the judgment of the Canadian voter's 'sober reflection.' 

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