Canada’s Constitutional Mistake

How the Rule of Law Gave Way to the Managerial State

– Bruce Pardy – May 24, 2024

We made a mistake.

Kings once ruled England with absolute power. Their word was the law. Centuries of struggle and reform gradually overcame their tyranny. We adopted this idea called the rule of law. We established checks, balances, limits, restraints and individual rights. For a while it worked. The law in Canada, as in other countries that inherited British common law, provided a system of justice as good as anything that civilization had ever produced.

But now the rule of law is fading. When it suits them, our institutions set aside their restraints. Using an idea to hold the powerful in check works only for as long as the powerful believe in the idea. And increasingly in the Canada of today, they do not.

Our mistake, over these centuries of reform, was that we did not go far enough. We did not take power away from institutions to rule over us. Instead, we just moved the powers around. Today, as in the days of kings, the law is based upon the authority of those who govern, not upon the consent of the governed.

The Law is not what it Pretends to Be

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