Voters who are displeased will have to take it out at the ballot box.
Even before Canada's Premiers departed Whitehorse on Friday, media coverage was applauding a "ground-breaking" and "historic" agreement on internal trade within Canada. Not so fast. One key omission was immediately evident. When it comes to alcohol, the agreement will establish "a working group on alcoholic beverages, which will explore opportunities to improve trade in beer, wine and spirits across Canada."
Is it too much to ask in the 21st century to self-identify based on the beliefs you hold so dearly? After all, who has the right to tell me who I am and who I'm not? Apparently the Pakistani government does, who have declared the Ahmadiyya community "infidel" and non-Muslim since the infamous ruling in 1974.
As senator, you will be entering in a whole new phase of your life. As a newcomer, you have a freedom of thought and a creativity which will invariably be constrained once you will have internalized the Senate's culture. Use this limited time wisely.
The battle for civil rights eventually gave rise to such watershed moments as the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and serious attempts at affirmative action. Sadly, some of those initiatives are even now being curtailed by an increasingly tone-deaf right wing majority on the Supreme Court.
Most of us, having only a vague understanding of the Senate's possible functions and past realizations, see it as illegitimate or undemocratic, and wish to correct the situation by applying one of two stereotypical and superficial recipes: election or abolition.
The Constitution defined a container, but not the content. Nothing in it says that the Senate has to be a partisan body. It has become so by choice, due to a particular political culture. Filling the Senate with non-partisan members is a practical first step to its cultural evolution.
Canada must talk about the real challenges facing our country -- our response to the greatest threat humanity faces, climate change. We should be talking about trade deals, endangered species, protecting water resources, our responsibilities to the rest of the world and so much more. Instead, this election has bogged down into "dead cat" distractions like niqabs, an issue that affects almost no one!
In sum, while Magna Carta certainly represents the enduring nature of our legal order, it also underscores just how fragile the rule of law is. As we rightly celebrate what we have held onto for so long, we must also recognize what could have been lost. Magna Carta, like our own Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is by itself only a document and is therefore only as good as those who are tasked with interpreting and enforcing its provisions.
To celebrate the ideas of the constitution made more 200 years back might seem irrelevant and outdated. However, for Norwegians everywhere May 17 is a reminder of freedom fight, of identity, and of gratefulness for shared values. In Canada, we find a close ally that share these ideas.