British Columbia Premier Christy Clark has completely cancelled the fall session of the BC legislature. The BC legislature will only sit for 36 days this year, sat for only 36 days in 2001, and amazingly only 17 days in 1991.
In most countries in the world, including the parliamentary democracies of Britain, Australia and New Zealand, the constitution or written constitutional conventions or laws govern when the legislature opens and closes, not the whims of the ruling party leader.
The time has come to end undemocratic prorogations and other legislature shutdowns once and for all! The only way to do this is through pushing BC politicians to pass a law limiting when shutdowns can occur, for how long, and who needs to vote in support of them.
Fight for democracy in Canada by pushing Premier Christy Clark to open the legislature and by pushing all BC provincial party leaders to pass a law limiting shutdowns by:
1) requiring the premier to open the legislature within 30 days after each election;
2) requiring the government and opposition parties to keep the legislature open other than for the usual breaks for statutory holidays, summer and mid-winter months, and during election campaigns, unless unusual circumstances give good reasons to shut down the legislature, with two-thirds of the members approve shutting it down;
3) prohibiting the premier from proroguing the legislature alone except when the legislature is already adjourned, and then only for the adjournment time period;
4) prohibiting the premier from proroguing the legislature when it is open on its regular schedule unless two-thirds of the members approve the shutdown, and limiting these shutdowns to a maximum of two weeks;
5) giving all government watchdog agencies the power to release their reports and rulings whenever they are completed, whether or not the legislature is open, and;
6) when the legislature opens after a shutdown, all government and opposition bills under review before the shutdown should be continued at the same stage of review.