Thursday, May 29, 2008

who governs?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Who governs this country? The elected Parliament? Or the non-elected Court?

The Court Rules on the 'Safe Injection Site'

I wonder what sort of precedent this type of ruling sets regarding law-making in this country. In Political Science class the prof. told us that Parliament makes law ... Parliament, of course, being a body of representatives elected by the people. If the Court makes a ruling regarding the direction in which the country's drug and addiction policy should go, shouldn't we, average citizens feel quite wary? If decisions regarding the direction of this country's law-making, addiction-health policy, and expenditure of public funds become those of the Court, then, how do I, citizen josephine, make my voice heard? Isn't that why we hold elections, after so carefully considering all the candidates? Isn't the point to select the representative and (ultimately, political party), that we believe and feel will best carry our perspective to the law-making table? What does it mean, then, if the representatives we elect cannot take a policy direction (i.e. that, presumably, we elected them to take), because the Court will not allow it?

Who governs? Does the Court make new law, or merely enforce the existing law? Who governs?


..................... said...

well, here in the u.s.a. clearly it doesn't matter who the majority votes for at times........

X. Dell said...

Foam's right. We've had lots of proposed legislation (e.g., the Equal Rights Amendment) shot down by state legislatures, despite the fact that they were wanted by the vast majority of the US population.

In the courts, there are usually gray areas where the judges have to rule whether or not a law itself is illegal (or unconstitutional), and therefore overturn newer laws to conform to their best interpretation of the US Constitution. This wasn't always a bad thing, actually, especially in laws that curtailed civil rights guaranteed by the constitution.

I believe what you're talkng about here is different, though, in that you see courts interpreting law in such a way as to infringe on constitutional protections. I would agree that this would be quite a problem, especially if your courts feel pressure from foreign governments (e.g., the aforementioned US).

Enemy of the Republic said...

My nod to Foam.

frizzy scissorhands said...

foam ~ unfortunately true south of the 49th parallel.

x-dell ~ pressure from the us ~ for sure. i think this ruling is quite political.

nice to see you enemy.