Not satisfied with creating a cabinet ala the U.S. cabinet, by appointment of non elected Ministers and floor crossers, nor by saying God Bless Canada during the election, now our Temp PM Stephen Harpocrite is carrying forth with yet another non campaign promise; Opening the appointment of judges to parliamentary review mirrors the system now in place in the United States. Yep what's good fer America is good for Canada.
This controversial, rushed change to the way the Supreme Court is appointed threatens to undermine an institution that is universally respected for its professionalism, integrity and independence. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin very properly raised concern in 2003 about any process that appoints judges "in a manner that gives more weight to partisan politics." Just this month she reiterated her plea to "avoid politicizing" a process that has given us a superb judiciary.The Canadian Bar Association shares that view. "The CBA strongly opposes any system that would publicly expose judges to partisan criticism of their judgments or cross-examination of their personal beliefs or preferences," bar president Brian Tabor warned yesterday.
And it's damn well about time says the mouth of the south, southern Alberta that is......"All I can see in the Supreme Court are nine lawyers in red dresses, who need very badly to be taken down a peg." Ted Byfield, Calgary Sun.
Damn them activist judges....making the State obey it's own laws like the Constitution.Toews and Harper have both been vocal critics of "activist" judges that they contend overstep the role of the judiciary in interpreting the laws made by elected officials.
And being effette latte liberals in dresses, not a manly man amongst them.
But while some Conservatives will embrace this Republican lite approach by Harper,I have to ask real conservatives how they stand on such a challenge to her majesty's parlimentary system,one that truly allowed for an independent judiciary, regardless of the political party that put them in power. Or have all the Conservatives in Canada embraced a strange mix of Reaganism and Blairism forgetting their good old English Tory traditions. And how can real conservatives support such an Americanization of the Canadian State? Where are the Monarchists now?!
Ah the confusion and conundrum that this will put them into is delicious. As the Conservatives claim one thing and do another; • A belief in loyalty to a sovereign and united Canada governed in accordance with the Constitution of Canada, the supremacy of democratic parliamentary institutions and the rule of law; Founding Principles
Opps there is that little contradiciton tucked away there; the 'supremacy of democratic parilimentary institutions', which I guess does not include the Supreme Court. Nor the Senate. The next non-campaign promise to come is of course Senate Reform. Another non-issue in Canada except in Alberta.
Finally this is the first move in the Conservatives attempt to change the nature of the Canadian state to suit their Republican Lite agenda, one that is all tactics while waiting for a majority government to make their strategy clear.
Harper plan draws fire
"It really gives the appearance that the judges have to answer to the politicians, and our democracy is set up very clearly to ensure the judiciary is independent from the executive branch," said former CBA president Susan McGrath.
"We can't afford to compromise our system of government that has served the Canadian people so well since 1867."
NDP justice critic Joe Comartin agreed it will lead to the "circus-style" grilling observed in the U.S.
Comartin said candidates should instead be screened in closed-door interviews with clear boundaries on the line of questioning.
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