All aboard the omnibus


As Parliament resumes, it looks like we’ll have another bizarre omnibus bill

Omnibus bills, like the one it’s hinted the Harper government will pass this fall, tend to contain more proposals than can be sufficiently scrutinized through parliamentary processes before being put to a vote. In fact, this serves as part of the reason for their name: let’s take everything (omni) and drive it (bus) through Parliament as fast as possible. This is suggested, by some, to be a more efficient means of introducing new legislation, and of course, what we need at a most basic level, is more laws being put on the books and faster

Coming under the media-friendly guise of efficient legislation, omnibus bills are, in fact, much more likely to serve a function which amounts, in reality, to the precise opposite. These deliberately obscure ‘budgets’ are financed in full, along with the salaries and other regular costs in running government institutions, via our own perpetual tax enslavement. If our dollars were spent wisely we might expect reasonable legislation which, after having been debated carefully and judiciously, actually went on to benefit a majority of Canadians. On the contrary, as our dollars are spent rushing through ledgislation that cannot be well scrutinized or debated by parliament, we are paying for further unnecessary expenses and restrictions upon our freedom.

Since omnibus legislation is wadded up into a thick stack and hurried through parliament makes it substantially more likely to be imprecise and miscalculated. Therefore, it is equally more likely that tax-payers’ dollars are spent quite ineffectively and irresponsibly. By way of analogy, if we are to take an unimaginably large volume of waste and stuff it all into a rocket-powered bus and then drive our bus as quickly as possible down the throat of our giant Queen Beaver, then we’re far more likely to make potentially costly mistakes in the process which might induce a considerable measure of irreversible damage.

Furthermore, if one proposes such a hypothetical scenario wherein holders of key political powers are influenced in their decision making by something other than their own free-will and keenness of intellect, say, by the interests of money, then the situation becomes imaginably more dire. What nonetheless remains a true, without having to chance any wildcard assertions about the odds of  potentially greedy influences at play, is that omnibus bills put forward by the Harper government will continue to ignore the vast disparity in wealth which continues to exist within our own nation. Instead, they continue to favour promoting the familiar conservative tradition of tax breaks for the rich and social program cuts for the poor. Bet on that now and maybe think about taking your winnings to help out at Attawapiskat.

Finally, budgetary proposals of omnibus legislation, which are argued in theory as everyone’s benefit for their alleged efficacy as type of political tool, and even as a necessity for re-invigorating the poor old world economy, seem much more likely to fulfill neither of these claims.  Tabling omnibus legislation has thus far proven more than likely to plainly contradict the interest of Parliament. This is an assertion even Harper had acknowledged years ago when in the opposition himself and facing an approximately 30 page  omnibus bill, as opposed to the more than 400 pages he pushed through earlier this year. Additionally, it is likely not a mere youthful schoolyard conjecture to suggest that, when all the potenital outcomes have been tallied, this type of legislation is entirely contradictory to the interests of a majority of Canadians.

Dustin Christianson

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