Good old Ed

This just in: speaking on the second reading of the Liberals' proposed Reform Bill in 1866, future Tory Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli asserted that

"of course, the elements of the Commons vary, and must be modified according to the vicissitudes and circumstances of a country like England. Nevertheless, the original scheme of the Plantagenets may always guide us."

If anyone were to say anything of the sort in our Parliament today, the only reason they wouldn't be laughed right out of Ottawa is that no one would have any idea what they were talking about. Disraeli added

"We, who are the representatives of the Commons do not represent an indiscriminate multitude, but a body of men endowed with privileges which they enjoy, but also intrusted with duties which they must perform"

and also said

"I think that this House should remain a House of Commons, and not become a House of the People, the House of a mere indiscriminate multitude, devoid of any definite character, and not responsible to society, and having no duties and no privileges under the Constitution".

And a year later, introducing his own Reform Bill as prime minister, he said

"we live under a Constitution of which we boast that it is a Constitution of checks and counterpoises.”

All still propositions worth debating... if we can.

UncategorizedJohn Robson