The democracy election

The Star sizes up a potential campaign.

The swirling ethical questions were enough to prompt Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff to say he would be “delighted” to challenge the Tories’ democratic record in an election.

Parliamentary expert Ned Franks said issues around the government’s approach to democracy should get an airing on the campaign trail, especially given Harper’s dismissive response to the findings his government has abused parliamentary procedure. “Ultimately what you’re saying as prime minister is ‘I don’t give a damn what Parliament does. I’m going my way,’ ” said Franks, a professor emeritus at Queen’s University. “You can get away with it for a time but we live in a democracy, not a dictatorship,” he said.

A majority of respondents to a recent Ipsos Reid poll put “honest, open and trustworthy government” ahead of “economic recovery” as the top issue.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.