Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Get 'er done!

Senators, not from Ottawa
The debate of an elected Senate is heating up in Saskatchewan. I'm just loving the fact that there is a debate and so much attention is there. Sask premier Lorne Calvert's and Ont. premier Dalton McGuinty's idea to abolish the Senate are so out of touch with how a bi-cameral parliamentary system works, and how it's important to balance regional interests with population.

The Calgary Grit makes mention of Senate Reform. While I agree the best way is to open up the constitution for full-on changes, at least Harper is making a step, even in a minority gov't. Chretien didn't even try with a majority.

Non-Ethical Ethics Guy?
It appears that Ethics Commissioner, Bernard Shapiro, is going to be dumped by Harper. I agree. But he should step down. And someone agrees with that. The Prime Minister's new communications director, Sandra Buckler, had this to say:

"This Liberal appointee's actions have strengthened the prime minister's
resolve to create a truly, non-partisan ethics commissioner who is accountable
to parliament."

Take that! So will Harper dump this guy and then have parliament choose a new one or will he have a new czar report to parliament, not just the PMO?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Clean goes to Ottawa, and one of the first things he does is state that the rules which apply to all elected politicians do not apply to him because he does not want them to.

So he has his spokesperson tell the world that they don’t want to obey those rules because they don’t like the ruler. As if any defendant in the dock of any court in any land in the whole wide world would say he liked the judge and jury and prosecutor. Not liking somebody who is investigating whether you broke the rules is human nature.

But unlike all those others, Mr. Clean says he has The Power. Resorting to the tried and proven tactics used by the neocons of the US, lead by one Karl Rove, Mr. Clean changes the subject by framing it differently. It is not a question of his conduct in perhaps providing an inducement to an MP to change sides and so perhaps breaching the rules of ethics. Oh no.

It is about the power of the Prime Minister to make cabinet appointments. So there! Take that, EthicsSmethicks Commissioner.

Anybody else beside me here overtones of the imperial response Bush offers so often? I am President, therefore I am all-powerful, therefore I am above the law, therefore I can disregard those who would call me to account for breaking the laws.

Is Mr. Clean really going to argue that because he is the head-elected-honcho in Canada, his power to appoint anybody he wants to, to the Cabinet cannot be questioned?

Really? How interesting. How presumptious. How arrogant ...

I wonder if Canadians are going to go along with this bushian logic coming from Harper.

Because if they do, they are agreeing with a man who claims he can appoint anyone to any post without any oversight. Even if that person gave Harper a bribe? Are cabinet seats now open to the highest bidder, because Harper is head-democratically-elected-honcho in this here land of ours, and nobody has any say over him?

How about it, then, Mr Harper – why not open a Dutch auction for some really nice posts? Want to be Ambassador to France? Offer the Prime Minister a princely sum and its yours. Illegal? Hell, no – he is the Prime Minister and nobody can oversee how he does this job of appointing people ...

See how easily framing changes the nature of the discussion: suddenly Harper is defending democracy in refusing to cooperate with an ethics commissioner appointed by Parliament who is investigating whether one of the foundations of democracy was damaged by an MP perhaps being offered and accepting an inducement to take office as a Cabinet minister.

Harper’s Rovian framing makes it simple: Harper is good. Ethics Commissioner is bad. End of story.

And Canadians are the losers.