Sunday, February 19, 2006

more political shenanigans from harper

the toronto star is reporting that tomorrow prime minister stephen harper (I die a little inside every time i write/say prime minister in front of his name) will be announcing the framework for canada’s first ever all-party parliamentary hearing to question a potential supreme court judge.

who it will be … ??? we don’t know yet, but apparently it will be from a short list that the liberals put together.

to be honest I have a few problems with the questioning of judges via a partisan panel of elected members.

the first of these concerns is obviously that as soon as that potential scc judge sits down a partisan circus begins. cheap political points are scored for political gain, at the expense of hard working and dedicated canadians, who uphold the basic principals of our democratic system.

so what can be done about this… ??? i say that when the time comes the liberals, ndp and bq refuse to sit on this committee. secondly any potential nominee should refuse to sit in front of such a body and answer no questions!

my second problem with this whacked idea is that instead of attracting judges who are well qualified and have dedicated their lives to our country, will instead shy away from sharing their talent of interpreting and upholding the law. why might they feel this??? because of the fear of being lynched by political partisans. so what kind of talent will a process like this attract? my guess is as good as any… i would say either political partisans who have an agenda or just less talented judges.

for those of us who follow politics (maybe a little to closely) we understand that we live in a democracy which is based on many indirect democratic principals. one of these being that when we cast our ballots that we subscribed to the current system in which the prime minister appoints judges … not members of parliament and/or possibly senators (yes im talking about you mr. fortier)! and i think it is quite safe to say that no prime minister has ever selected a crazy, crapy, loony, zany zealot supreme court judge. so why the change mr. harper???

if this had been an election promise/plank/pledge/idea or whatever then it would be hard to argue against what the people want… however, the citizens of this country did not ask for more political shenanigans!


At 10:44 a.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried to read your comment with an open mind. But unfortunately, your comment makes no sense at all. Basically what you're saying is that as long as the Supreme Court judges are Liberal the system works fine. As soon as they appointed by an all-parliamentary committee the system is flawed. And in the same breath you talk about democracy. This practice of appointing friends to be judges or heads of government corporations has to stop. Where is the neutrality in this process. Lets take a hypothetical case (as ridiculous as this may sound is is completely plausible) for example. The Liberals want to make sure that the gun registry is not eliminated. They take the matter to court and it winds up in the Supreme Court. How do you think the Supreme Court will rule? Here's an example of how slanted the courts are, not just the Supreme Court.

According to the Lawyers Weekly (May 20, 2005), Mr. Cotler the Liberal Justice Minister at the time has appointed his former executive assistant and senior policy adviser, Michael Brown, and also Randall Echlin, the former general counsel to the Ontario Liberal Party (who was also a contributor in 2002 to Allan Rock's Liberal leadership campaign), to the Ontario Superior Court. Cotler also appointed to the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, Marsha Colleen Erb, a Liberal fundraiser and personal friend of his fellow cabinet minister, Anne McLellan. Other lucky Liberals appointed to that court by Mr. Cotler, include, John J. Gill, co-chair in 2004 of the Alberta Federal Liberal Campaign; Vital Ouellette, who ran for the provincial Liberals in 1997 and 2001, and federal Liberal candidate, Bryan Mahoney, who lost twice to Conservative Myron Thompson (Wild Rose), Alberta. As a consequence of these appointments, the Alberta Queen's Bench now consists of a happy, well paid Liberal family.

In short, the Liberals have appointed many friends and financial supporters to both the provincial Superior Courts and to the Federal Court. For example, the latter court has been "graced" by the appointment of former Liberal, New Brunswick's Finance Minister Edmond Blanchard, and Yves de Montigny, Cotler's former Chief of Staff. Georgette Sheridan, who lost her Liberal Saskatoon seat in 1997 was appointed to the Tax Court of Canada several years ago. These are only examples of some of the political appointments to the Canadian courts by the Liberal Government. These appointments are blatant patronage at the public's expense.

Where’s the democracy in that?


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