House Rules

Publication Source: Walrus Magazine
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Author: Susan Harada

Our scheduled forty-five-minute interview has stretched well past an hour, but Elizabeth May still has plenty to say. She launches into an answer, veers onto a different thought, sidesteps into another story, and just when I think she has lost the thread she grabs it and pulls it into a firmly knotted conclusion. Democracy, climate change, family, religion: we have covered a great deal of ground by the time her legislative assistant, Paul Noble, knocks on the door of the boardroom, two floors below her suite of offices in the Confederation Building, just west of Parliament Hill. Noble tells May that the Liberals won’t field anyone in the House of Commons today to speak to C-7, the Senate reform bill. If the New Democrats don’t fill their time either, and if she hustles over to the House, she could score a ten-minute speaking slot to address the Conservatives’ proposed reforms. Calling for a nine-year, non-renewable term limit for senators and an optional nominee selection process, the proposals fall short of the Green Party’s demand for an elected Senate, and May’s personal position that the legislative body should be abolished altogether.

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