In a stunning violation of Canadian parliamentary tradition, the largely ceremonial Senate in Ottawa yesterday rejected the Canadian climate law twice passed by the House of Commons. The Globe and Mail reports.

Without any debate in the Red Chamber, Conservative senators caught their Liberal and unelected counterparts off-guard on Tuesday by calling a snap vote on Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act introduced by Bruce Hyer, a New Democrat who represents Thunder Bay-Superior North in the House.

It is the first time that the unelected Conservative senators have used their near-majority to kill a bill passed by elected politicians. The absence of more than 15 Liberals from the Senate allowed the bill to be defeated by a margin of 43 to 32.

This was one of the most undemocratic acts that we have ever seen in the Parliament of Canada,” NDP Leader Jack Layton said at a press conference Wednesday morning.

The season of undemocracy continues. And in a country I recently lauded for its better system.

Sigh. The US Senate isn’t the only upper chamber that needs reform.