Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« The latest "crossover comic" from Marvel Comics: The Punisher vs. Gordon Campbell | Main | Marching orders »

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Who says there's a democratic deficit?

Canada has nine new senators today, including three from Alberta. None of them the three senators elected by Albertans in November.

Martin did see fit, however, to appoint former Transport Minister Art Eggleton to the Senate. Eggleton was virtually driven from office after it turned out he had awarded a $40,000 government contract to his girlfriend, without any public bid process. In other words, another round of Senate appointments that flies in the face of good governance.

Here's the other appointees:

Romeo Dallaire
Jim Cowan
Nancy Ruth
Lillian Dyck
Robert Peterson
Grant Mitchell,
Elaine McCoy,
Claudette Tardif

Posted by Kevin Libin on March 24, 2005 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d834515b5d69e200d83422afa353ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Who says there's a democratic deficit?:

» Is this defensible? from Fighting On the Beaches
After months of delay Paul Martin has finally named 9 new Senators. Reportedly the reason for the delay was an attempt by the Martin brain trust to figure out a way to make the appointments without causing mass outrage among those who stubbornly obje... [Read More]

Tracked on 2005-03-24 2:10:21 PM

» Is this defensible? from Fighting On the Beaches
After months of delay Paul Martin has finally named 9 new Senators. Reportedly the reason for the delay was an attempt by the Martin brain trust to figure out a way to make the appointments without causing mass outrage among those who stubbornly obje... [Read More]

Tracked on 2005-03-24 2:11:03 PM

» Is this defensible? from Fighting On the Beaches
After months of delay Paul Martin has finally named 9 new Senators. Reportedly the reason for the delay was an attempt by the Martin brain trust to figure out a way to make the appointments without causing mass outrage among those who stubbornly obje... [Read More]

Tracked on 2005-03-24 2:13:05 PM

» Hey I don't Remember Voting for These Guys, and Gals from Colbert's Comments
So we have a new team for the Senate softball League with the appointment of 9 new sober second-thoughters. General Romeo Dallaire, I trust he has received the care he deserves after seeing the horrors of Rwanda. I only hope that he stays away from ... [Read More]

Tracked on 2005-03-24 10:45:49 PM

Comments

This is my email to my federal MP:

"Mr. John Williams:

As a Canadian living in Alberta, who strongly believes in democracy, I have been insulted today by the Prime Minister's appointment of three senators who have in no way been presented to Alberta voters to judge their suitability in presenting Albertan's views in the federal arena, namely the senate. I urge you to strongly present my view to parliament , a view shared by a majority of Albertans, that any senators selected to represent us should come from the list of "Senators in waiting" who already have the blessing of Albertans in a free and democratic vote. To accept this overide of our democratic wishes is to encourage the rise of groups, already raising their opinions, that the citizens of this povince would be better served by separating from the Canadian federation. Every citizen of Alberta is taxed well over three thousand dollars more than is returned to the province. Is this the thanks we get for this inordinately high contribution to the federation?

R. M. Wood"

Posted by: BobWood | 2005-03-24 12:34:24 PM


Would have been a big plus had liberal PM-Paul Martin appointed to the Senate at least of the six Alberta-elected Senators from Albertans to one of the Alberta Senate seats in Canada's Senate.Unfortunately PM Martin disregarded the wishes of Albertans to have a real impact in Canadian politics.Vote the Fed-Liberals out next up-coming federal election.

Posted by: Larry | 2005-03-24 12:58:28 PM


During the last election, I complained to the Chief Electoral Officer that the placement of the so-called senators in waiting on a ballot was "ultra vires" and that Mr. Klein and his government lacked the jurisdiction to call such an election.

I think that the Conservatives have no respect for the law or the Canadian Constitution. If they want an elected Senate, then they should lawfully change the Canadian Constitution to get that effect.

Otherwise, these neocons should ********

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-24 1:16:01 PM


Thank heavens.

The Dyck is gone/dead/kaput....

NDP disowns Dyck: Dyck is gonzo.


No Dyck for the NDP; Dyck is not NDP material.

Dyck is toast.....

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-03-24 1:46:59 PM


Bahhbbee wrote:

"I also can't help but note the hypocrisy of those who cry foul when they think the federal government is meddling in provincial matters but cheer Klein's attempt to meddle in federal matters."

Please help we schwingers out with this one, Bahbbeee, it's not penetrating our thick skulls. Feds meddle in provincial matters, by, for e.g. commandeering health care, proposing national day care, etc. - no big deal. Province attempts to meddle in federal matters by trying (amongst other things) to slow the tide of good ole Lieberal porkbarrelling (not that Grant Mitchell, who led the provincial Lieberals to 2 seats, if I recall correctly, isn't a STUNNINGLY BRILLIANT choice for a lifetime senate appointment) - hypocrisy, the cardinal sin in the minds of good Lieberals such as yourself. Except that, unlike the feds, we haven't actually been ABLE to meddle, we're merely wannabee meddlers at present, notwithstanding which our hypocrisy for wanting to meddle is far worse to the likes of Bahbbeee than the feds actual meddling.

Ya really oughta come out west, Bahhbee, and show us rooobs the error of our ways - lots of jobs for unemployed types like yourself and we promise you Ralph doesn't call your ilk creeps and bums any more.

Posted by: firewalls 'r us | 2005-03-24 1:58:47 PM


I remain mystified by the continuing co-option of the word "neoconservative" (and its twin "fundamentalist") by revoltingly ignorant amateurs of the left. I realize you fellas are incapable of formulating thoughts without the use of demonizing formulae--remember "running-dog lackeys" and "capitalist roaders"?--but must you abuse ones that have an actual historical meaning? Please, try cracking a book that doesn't have Noam Chomsky's name on the cover sometime. Ralph Klein isn't a "neocon". He's just a plain old con, har har.

Posted by: Colby Cosh | 2005-03-24 2:42:38 PM


If Martin actually opposed Senate elections on principle, then Joe Green (his unnecessary vulgarity and obnoxiousness aside) would have a point (why is it, anyways, that the Shotgun-haters that troll this site are incapable of having a civil discussion?)

But Martin doesn't oppose an elected Senate on principle. He doesn't oppose it at all. Here's some Martin quotes (courtesy the Opposition office):

“I very much believe in the desirability of Senate reform.” (Vancouver Liberal Leadership Debate, May 31, 2003).

“Fundamental Senate reform, regardless of how you define equality as long as it’s acceptable, is required. We should essentially say: ‘Look, let’s do this.’” (Calgary Herald, October 19, 2003).

“I’m in favour of Senate reform, but it’s going to take provincial agreement. I’m prepared to do it. Now let’s see if (the provinces) can come to an agreement.” (Calgary Herald, December 19, 2003).

"Will I commit, at some point in my mandate, to try to deal with comprehensive Senate reform? Yes." (Hamilton Spectator, June 9, 2004).

"I have long been an advocate of Senate reform," (Calgary Herald, November 18, 2004)

“Preston Manning will be relegated to hosting a phone-in show, when we come through with an equal, elected, effective Senate.” (Speech to the Liberal Party Leadership Convention, Calgary, Alberta, June 22, 1990)

Once again, this is just a case of Martin trying his best to sound like an advocate of change when he was out of power and opting for the status quo now that he's in power.

Posted by: Kevin Libin | 2005-03-24 3:59:02 PM


[firewalls picks self off floor and dusts self off after withering McClello-blast]

Bah-bah-bah-bah-bah-bah-ran wrote:

"It doesn't matter how many times you claim I'm a Liberal because it will not alter reality. I support no party."

Wait a minute - you mean you aren't Pierre and Landslide Annie's love child?

Then he wrote:

"It also doesn't matter how many times you declare what my opinions are because without me actually stating one, it's meaningless"

having first wrote:

"I also can't help but note the hypocrisy of those (blah blah blah)", and

"Hypocrisy is the right's middle name after all".

I suspect there's a lot of things you don't have, Rahbster, but opinions don't seem to be one of them. Or is there a special Lieber - oops- progressive code word, like "pro-choice" and "same-sex marriage", you use to describe that which we knuckledraggers ignorantly refer to as "opinions"?

Seriously, B-awe-b, ya gotta get out here and lead us from our neo-con, whingy, rube-enesque existence. Make haste, before the firewall's up and you need a passport.

Posted by: firewalls 'r us | 2005-03-24 4:19:42 PM


"Except, obviously, when they are directed at me or any other leftwinger.

IT'S NOT FAAAAAIR!!!!! WAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! Baby-Bobby conducts vulgar and hateful dialogue in the form of name-calling and taunting on his blog so in his mind every other blog should, or DARNIT, it's just wouldn't be FAAAAIR!!!!

Posted by: jhuck | 2005-03-24 8:43:04 PM


Attention: Leftwhingers....


For the first time in 2, count them, 1,2, years , Google has no Iraq war stories on its news pages.

It's all you-know-who's fault.


"It's not true" leftwhingers are thinking: Oh well, on to the next...

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-03-24 9:08:55 PM


Actually, I'm going to start deleting inflammatory and off-topic posts more regularly from now on—for all commenters, be they right wing, left wing, or just plain incomprehensible.

Let's try and keep the debate civil, please.

Posted by: Kevin Libin | 2005-03-24 11:17:13 PM


For Paul Millionaire, CEO of Canada Inc to ignore democracy is no surprise.

The less political opposition from Alberta means the easier it is to steal its resources for Ontario's luxury.

Alberta should instead send its elected representatives to Washington, where they would be taken much more seriously even if they sat in the visitor's gallery.

This is more than a democratic gap. It is a symbol of Ontario's racist views of Albertans. We are wasting our time thinking the rich will change their theiving ways. Our path lies south. Opening the office in Washington is the foot in the door. Now we have to enter and shut the door behind us. Canada wants to destroy us. We have to save ourselves.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-25 2:15:54 AM


Kevin Libin wrote:

"But Martin doesn't oppose an elected Senate on principle. He doesn't oppose it at all. Here's some Martin quotes (courtesy the Opposition office):"

The facts are simple enough, but the right wing crazies in Canada cannot accept the facts. The facts are that under Canadian Law, senators are appointed according to a process that is also established in law. Mr. Martin swore an oath of office to uphold the Constitution and the Law. For him to let Ralph Klein and the "neocons" run illegal elections in Alberta would by itself be a violation of his own oath of office.

A "Triple E" senate is a favourite hobby horse of the right. From what I can see, it lacks merit and its an idea that directly works against the Westminster tradition of Parliamentary Supremacy.

It is simply another "Americanism" and another assault upon our freedoms by the Republican money bags.

As currently constituted, the Senate has a representation in it that cuts across party lines and across professions and business. Only people that merit appointment ever reach it.

That is a superior process, than a rigged election where the guy with the most money to spend on PR advertising wins. If people of quality lack deep pockets, we are denied access to their contributions in government.

Face it, most of the current appointees to the Canadian Senate are superior in almost every way to the trained seals in the Conservative Party which is a Reformed Alliance of "neocons".

Finally, I REALLY OBJECT to this right wing crowd distorting the facts about where Western Canadians living in Alberta place their political support. In the last election, the 26 out of 28 MPs elected certainly DO NOT REFLECT the will of people in this Province because nowhere near 26 out of every 28 Canadians living in Alberta voted for them. I certainly did not, and I am cheated in having MY VOICE heard in Ottawa.

The trained seals in the Conservative Party all want a "triple E senate" and I do not see much wrong with the current one. The LAST THING I want is an American Senate that is impotent to do little things like order a feeding tube reinserted in a vulnerable adult and make it stick.

We need a fairer system of proporational representation long before we need an American style "senate".

Parliament works. Its principles work. But our "first past the post" election machinery does not work very well when more than two parties contest elections. That is what actually needs to be fixed first.

Passing bogus legislation like Ralph Klein has done is wrong and its immoral. It makes us pay for things that we should not be asked to pay for. Something like being asked to pay for Stockwell Day's legal bills caused by his Big Mouth.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 5:11:48 AM


I think that the blog 'Right Thinking People' has a superb analysis of what is indeed, a serious democratic deficit in Canada.
http://www.rightthinkingpeople.blogspot.com/

We have a serious deficit in democracy in that appointments to both the upper legislature and the judiciary are made without any discussion, openness and without any accountability; that is, they are made solely by the PM's Office. This sets up a system of decision-making where decisions are already compromised by loyalty-to-persons rather than loyalty-to-argument and facts.

Because a system IS, does not mean that it OUGHT to be this way. That's a logical error. However, our ability to change this system is severely restricted by its very existence! And, in Canada, we have a tradition of uncritical acceptance and a refusal to debate issues.

By the way - I am getting quite tired of Joe Green's rants, his utter lack of reasoned argumentation, his indifference to facts, his virulent anti-Americanism and equally virulent anti-Conservativism and uncritical support for the Liberals- and his flinging of scatalogical and ignorant insults. I am aware that he is an embittered older citizen but surely this blog shouldn't be taken over by him.

Posted by: ET | 2005-03-25 6:05:30 AM


ET: even the Toronto [Red] Star says not appointing Alberta's elected senators was a mistake.

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1111704610500&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

Joe is clearly an antique believing the philosophy that only the Liberal Party can unite Canada. The real reason why they wanted that was so that their corporate backers in Toronto could make easier money.

It is clear that Alberta will never be treated fairly so long as it is a province. As a state, we'd be just 1 of 51, but it would be an improvement. What are we waiting for?

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-25 6:28:46 AM


This will be added to the list of grievances we Albertans have against Canada. The history of Alberta is very clear: we change en masse to new governments; it does not occur except every several decades, but when it does the change is rapid. Watch out Canada, because the colony that pays your bills will soon surprise you how quickly we leave.

Posted by: FreeAlberta.com | 2005-03-25 8:21:17 AM


This will be added to the list of grievances we Albertans have against Canada. The history of Alberta is very clear: we change en masse to new governments; it does not occur except every several decades, but when it does the change is rapid. Watch out Canada, because the colony that pays your bills will soon surprise you how quickly we leave.

Posted by: FreeAlberta.com | 2005-03-25 8:34:01 AM


FreeAlberta:

Alberta is more than just a piggy bank for Canada.

We are also their scapegoat for failed policies. Since we stand against Ontario more than anyone else (practically all the time) we get blamed for things like the gun registry, the NEP, same-sex marriage, and especially Kyoto.

Two cases in point: 1) the gun registry. Ontario knows it cannot do anything to stop the rising trend of gun violence in its cities. But they can avoid responsibility by shifting the blame on the "gun crazy rednecks" (if you forgive the racial slur) from Alberta.

Second, Kyoto. This is an important international treaty, with great prestige for Canada's leaders. They derive a lot of support from the environmental lobby.

However, Ontario's industries are well aware of the costs involved, which is why the auto industry applied for and received an exemption to Kyoto. Soon they all will, but the carbon targets have to be met - which leaves poor Alberta to cover the gap regardless of the cost.

Why should they care? Ontario's jobs (and votes) are protected. Make Alberta and its energy exports pay and you have the best of both worlds. The weakness in their argument is that their taxes will go up if the energy sector takes a beating as predicted.

What a country! We can't leave soon enough.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-25 8:44:15 AM


Joe Green

"The trained seals in the Conservative Party all want a "triple E senate" and I do not see much wrong with the current one. The LAST THING I want is an American Senate that is impotent to do little things like order a feeding tube reinserted in a vulnerable adult and make it stick."

Ever heard of bicameralism and presentment, two US constitutional predicates to legislation being enacted, not to get into the constutional limits upon legislation (bills of attainder etc). So such by such structures, with which your average high schooler is well acquainted (checks and balances), the US constitution ensures that no one branch of gov't has dictatorial powers. All of which Canada lacks and is much the poorer for it (provided you are not one of the "power" elite rent seekers really running the show). Citing the US senate's inablity to intervene legislatively to support the make-up of the cdn structural constitution is to resort to a really inapposite comparison, given their vastly different structures. Of course, the US senate actually has a role in the development of legislation (proposed by pres and sua sponte), as opposed to the retirement chamber for well connected pols the dysfucntional dominion has...

If you pay attention, you'll see that the Cdn constituion provides only a veneer of limits on the authority of the Prime Minister (who I understand the per the CBC makes the Sun rise in the East, and set in the West), of which these vile senate appointments is yet another manifestation (lets see, what else comes to mind, hmm - how about liberal lackeies appointed to the Courts, not just the supreme, selected for their ability to perform on cue AND what else, hmm , maybe sponsorship...).

This is yet another dimension in which your arguments (using the most liberal definintion) are wholly ludicrous.

Viva l'Alberta libre.

Posted by: IEscaped | 2005-03-25 10:27:50 AM


Joe Green appears to be paying some heed to warnings from other bloggers and Kevin Libin. Thank you very much Kevin. Joe, I will respond to two of your points. On what grounds, other than perhaps your gut feelings, do you claim that provincial elections for prospective senators are illegal. The federal government spends a king's ransom on legal advice. Surely one of the lawyers collecting that largesse would see the chance for millions more if they thought a legal case could be made for Alberta breaking the law. Think of the humungous fines that could be levied to transfer even more wealth out of Alberta to go to Dalton McGuinty.
Secondly your point about 26 of 28 MPs not representing the wishes of all Albertans. Think democracy Joe, where the majority rules. That is why we have had Liberal governments for the past 12 years. The Liberals have never come close to matching the percentage of the popular vote that the Alberta PCs have obtained regularly. Try percentages from the middle thirties to very low forties, yet you claim that Ralph Klein doesn't properly represent the wishes of Albertans while claiming that PM PM does represent the wishes of Canadians. Give your sore head a shake.

Posted by: BobWood | 2005-03-25 10:44:14 AM


"COMMENT DELETED: NO PERSONAL ATTACKS PERMITTED"

Kudos to the comments editor. Rather than deleting the comment he has only deleted the text.

This leaves the thread with a record of the missing information and a record of who has been posting hatred.

Posted by: Pete E | 2005-03-25 10:58:24 AM


ET opined thus:

"Because a system IS, does not mean that it OUGHT to be this way."

Well, the "system" did not just fall out of the blue sky one day, it has evolved over decades and centuries. It is not by accident for example that we have the Westminster model of Parliament with its many traditions and rules that you are utterly ignorant of. Instead of understanding the continuity of our development as a people, and the virtue of our forebearers, you lust after revolutionaries, and quacks that have produced a Constitution, born in rebellion, and fed upon treachery and betrayal, so that you see what we saw with Terri, the innocent woman being put to death by the American Republican Judiciary without even the slightest acknowledgement that they might be all wrong and that the "will of the people" through Congress and the Senate just might count for something they have missed.

In Canada, Australia and Britain, where we have been blessed with the Westminster Tradition of Parliament, such a case could NEVER happen. For one thing, Canadian judges are selected because they are experienced and compassionate people, and they are mindful of their duty to interpret the law and not fashion another fad in the law that goes nowhere and only brings grief and anguish to the people.

It is a great pity that your education ET has been so flawed that you have learned NOTHING AT ALL about how the Parliaments of Canada have actually served our people, how Parliaments have taken us to war, and how Parliaments have kept us out of unnecesary wars.

You have no respect or understanding of Canadian history or you would not come here saying the stupid things you do about it. Rather, you are that most fascinating intellectual and moral cripple, a Canadian lusting after "American values" without any idea of the utter immorality that it actually entails in the details.

And you have completely missed the boat on the genuine Canadian Conservative Party and its traditions and history in Canada. Sir John A. MacDonald would have given you and your kind a earful about America, its dangers to Canada, and why trade with the US was a basically bad idea.

You also have NO RESPECT for genuine Conservatives like Edmund Burke for example because if you had, you would not be here making stupid fascist statements as you have.

I think that the moaning and groaning by Andrew Coyne and the other "neocons" of American origin, is actually a good sign, it shows that Mr. Harper may well be rebuilding the historic Canadian Conservative Party of Sir John A. MacDonald and Mr. Cartier. That Canadian Conservative Party was profoundly "anti-American" in a way that captured wisdom from our collective experience with them. Brian Mulroney betrayed them philosophically and politically, and his treachery is part and parcel of "American politics as usual".

Anyone who needed a booster shot needed to look no further than how Mr. Bush treated Senator John McCain, a fellow "conservative".

I think that Stephen Harper is a pretty bright person, although I do not trust very many around him because these are all right wing extremists with an American agenda. Americans like Tom Long for example, or Canadians like David Frum who make a living writing speeches for George Bush, their president. Or liars and libel artists like Stockwell Day and Ezra Lavant.

Still, the fact that historic and genuine Canadian Conservatives like Joe Clark, and Hugh Segal offer hope to the Party finding its way back to its proper place in Parliament after the Mulroney debacle of 1993.

It was Mulroney and his insane pro-American agenda that actually created conditions that made the Bloc inevitable, and which made the reaction to his corruption inevitable from the Western Perspective when the Reform Party was subsequently formed.

Make NO MISTAKE. Mulroney "created" the Bloc and the Reform precisely because he was a crook, and a corrupt politician. And in so doing, they denied Canadians an effective Official Opposition, which the Westminster Parliament absolutely requires if it is to function properly.

I say in conclusion, there is not much that is wrong with the Westminster Parliament, which has a long and unbroken history dating back to the Magna Carta. There is nothing much wrong with Canada's Constitutional Monarchy either, and compared to the excesses in other countries, there is not much wrong with Canadian Governor Generals or the Royals for that matter.

What is actually wrong, is within the "conservative ranks" themselves, because they have failed to do their duty to the country, and that was to form an "alternative government". If they are to do that, they are going to have to learn to make compromises and work with others in their own party.

So far, we see little evidence of that. But hope springs eternal.

One last thing. If the Liberals get "smug" and "arrogant" the fault lies with the Conservatives for failing to hold Liberals to account.

If Harper rediscovers these "truths" about Canada, he will succeed, but if he lusts after the American "neocon" agenda, he will fail, just like Mulroney failed before him.

In Canada, Parliament is Supreme. Get used to it.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 11:16:32 AM


Bob Wood wrote:

"Joe Green appears to be paying some heed to warnings from other bloggers and Kevin Libin. Thank you very much Kevin. Joe, I will respond to two of your points. On what grounds, other than perhaps your gut feelings, do you claim that provincial elections for prospective senators are illegal."

First point is that I did not have any of my posts deleted by Kevin. He did replace an expletive at one point with a row of stars, which is his right as the editor. His intrusion was minimal.

Now with respect to Canada's Senate, at the time of Confederation, it was decided to create a "chamber of sober second thought", AND NOT a legislative body like the US Senate.

Canada's government is based upon the Supremacy of Parliament, not upon the quackery and mischief of the American Constitution with its "division of powers" that are manipulated from the background by monied interests afraid to present their positions in bright sunlight.

Unlike the US system that "limits" the powers of all its institutions until NONE of them are capable of doing anything, EVEN SO MUCH AS RECONNECTING A FEEDING TUBE FOR A DISABLED ADULT IN FLORIDA, In Canada, Parliament is Supreme. It has NO LIMITS, and NO BOUNDARIES.

However in Canada, no one person has "unlimited power" --- that is a complete falsifaction by the "neocons" with the American agenda. In Canada, a Prime Minister or a Premier serves at the "pleasure of his caucus" and as Margaret Thatcher found out, its a system of "sudden death" where the fall from grace can be swift and final. There are no endless phony trials or impeachment processes, it simply boils down to what the caucus of the governing party decides it will do. Thus our system is "dynamic" and lacks all the limitations of the American "static" model.

The American revolutionaries greatest crime was to deprive Americans of the Westminster Parliament.

Now to turn on your question of "appointments". In Canada, under the terms of Confederation in 1867 and the Constitution Act of 1982, "senators" and "judges" are "appointed" by the Office of the Prime Minister.

The PMO is often accused of being "partisan" in its appointments, but that is an exaggeration. IF you look at the current list of appointees to the senate, you will see people there with a great variety of experience, and not very many who are reprobate politicians.

Now you must have a Prime Minister who has integrity to avoid serious trouble. Brian Mulroney for example appointed a Quebec Judge that in fact was laundering money from organized crime that was selling drugs in Montreal. And he appointed two crooks to the senate that later were charged and convicted of crimes under the Criminal Code. That was very serious, but the country did not die as a result of Mulroney's unethical and immoral appointments.

Rather future senators are usually people who have been appointed to very careful screen and study legislation and flag laws that could be a problem. The Canadian Senate cannot stop laws, they can only send them back to Parliament for further study, and sometimes that happens with good results for Canada and her people.

General Romeo Dellaire is a senator. Tommy Banks is a Senator. Niether ever ran for elected office, but both are outstanding Canadians whose experience will be very important in examining what the laws of Canada SHOULD be. In the Senate, both "conservative" and "liberal" and "reform" and "social credit" and "ndp" views will find a view. And for the most part, it will be an enlighted and educated view and dispassionate view. What a superior result compared to the braying asses in the US Congress for example, or even the US Senate where Senator Byrd fought against a tidal wave of right wing propaganda in his efforts to defend the "constitution".

With respect to Canadian Judicial Appointments, for the most part, these have worked well, although the right wing extremists object to the way Canadian Justice works. They hate "compassionate judges" as being "too soft" and they incorrectly target Canadian judges on issues like abortion where Parliament itself cannot decide what to do, given how evenly split Canadians themselves are on these issues.

Now in conclusion, Ralph Klein's phony senate election laws are "ultra vires", because the Alberta Legislature lacks the jurisdiction to make such a law. Klein and the Legislature is interfering with the Federal Powers to make Senate Appointments. That is the law, and it has always been the law since 1867 and it remains the law. Ralph may not like it, but that is the way it is.

If he wants to change it, there are lawful ways to obtain constitutional change. But this phony and illegal "election law" is not one of those ways.

Finally, make no mistake. I was born and raised in Alberta, I served in the Armed Forces of Canada, and I am not about to take any shit from right wing American crazies who want to hijack our country and its wealth from future generations of Canadians.

I will have none of it.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 11:55:42 AM


Joe: I suggest you read a book called "An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution" by Charles Beard. It is a legendary revisionist examination of the men who formed the US constitution and government.

It might spark some thoughts on how every government system is based on compromises. You seem to think that the British Westminster system is perfect. It isn't, far from it.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-25 12:50:14 PM


Scott the Separatist wrote:

"It might spark some thoughts on how every government system is based on compromises. You seem to think that the British Westminster system is perfect. It isn't, far from it."

I do not think that the British Westminster system or the Canadian Westminster system or the Australian Westminster system is "perfect", but its a great deal better than what the American revolutionaries have come up with which "neocons" lust after. To paraphrase Churchill, "its the worst possible system, except for all the others".

You only have to layout the histories of Canada and the US over the past 200 years and make direct comparisons. In everyway I can see, Canada has fared much better then the revolutionaries, pirates, cutthroats and political criminals south of the border have fared.

But you lust after them Scott, so I say go for it, pursue your happiness and turn a blind eye to your sins as you exploit your fellows. You will not evade justice forever, and before God, someday, you, like Emperor George Bush II; WILL answer for your actions, words and deeds.

You lack compassion for others Scott because you are a sinner, and you will never "discover happiness" until you begin to look to others for its source.

Most "neocons" spend a lifetime searching for this "holy grail" and never find it.

There are none so blind as those that will not see.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 1:11:32 PM


"You only have to layout the histories of Canada and the US over the past 200 years and make direct comparisons. In everyway I can see, Canada has fared much better then the revolutionaries, pirates, cutthroats and political criminals south of the border have fared."

Let's see - the US started out as 13 colonies fighting against the British, then over time fought and defeated slavery, imperialism, fascism, and communism, and is currently fighting terrorism.

"You lack compassion for others Scott because you are a sinner, and you will never "discover happiness" until you begin to look to others for its source."

I lack compassion for Ontarians because they have none for me - based on experience. I've already found happiness in the security of Alberta, which sadly is routinely threatened by Canadian greed. We have it good here and want to kepe it that way. If only you could see that.

Canada started out as a colony of Britain. Not much else has happened since.

No one admires weakeness, but they do admire strengths, which is why the US is the country everyone wants to emulate. Alberta would do well to get on the winning side, rather than the colony of sloth.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-25 1:53:25 PM


It is disturbing for an American to begin to understand how people come to be senators in Canada. When I first started to post up here, I was surprised to learn about representation by population and how it diminishes the possibilities for citizens living in low population areas. Secondly, I have been very interested in ET's discussion of the problems created by government-imposed bilingual requirements. Now I am amazed to see how Canada's senators come to power.

As the anti-American left in Canada shouts at Americans, our attention is gradually being turned to the way Canada's government works.

Although no governments are perfect including the USA's, truthfully what we are learning about Canada's government is not flattering to it. It is no wonder that Albertans are outraged.

Posted by: Greg outside Dallas | 2005-03-25 4:19:35 PM


Greg lost near Dallas wrote:

"Now I am amazed to see how Canada's senators come to power."

Then you would also be surprised to learn that the Queen has no power and neither does the Governor General. For that matter, neither do Canadian senators.

The whole point of the Canadian Senate is to ensure that they are powerless, but where they can make the legislative process work better by stalling legislation for a certain fixed period of time in order to give the House of Commons, a second sober chance to correct any "mistakes" that it might make. It usually works pretty well.

But it also is not in any way, shape or form, an American Style Senate. Unlike the US where all branches of government are ultimately powerless as the events of last week have demonstrated, in Canada, the Parliament is Supreme with "unlimited power", but power that cannot ever be exercised by a single individual.

Parliament in Canada, unlike the American Congress, even has the power to constitute itself as a "court of law", not that it has ever done that since Confederation in 1867.

The point is that outrages like have taken place in Florida, would never take place up here.

Canadians just would not stand for it.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 4:57:01 PM


Joe/Jaws is spouting his bile again.

Anti-American, anti-semitic, Joe/Jaws is Red.

Your mentor, Stalin-- man of steel/ Koba to you, is waiting for you at Lubyanka prison.

Confession first, then trial... Stalin has the sentence ready... the Gulag, perhaps? or ?


Posted by: maz2 | 2005-03-25 7:19:52 PM


"The whole point of the Canadian Senate is to ensure that they are powerless, but where they can make the legislative process work better by stalling legislation for a certain fixed period of time in order to give the House of Commons, a second sober chance to correct any "mistakes" that it might make. It usually works pretty well."

Like in the GST Debates of the late 80s, or that hunger strike over the Katikavik (sp) youth project, where they hung in filibuster by a hunger striking senator?

"But it also is not in any way, shape or form, an American Style Senate. Unlike the US where all branches of government are ultimately powerless as the events of last week have demonstrated, in Canada"

Oh dear.

"the Parliament is Supreme with "unlimited power", but power that cannot ever be exercised by a single individual."

Double dear.

"Parliament in Canada, unlike the American Congress, even has the power to constitute itself as a "court of law", not that it has ever done that since Confederation in 1867."

That's because the three branches of government are separate.

"The point is that outrages like have taken place in Florida, would never take place up here."

But they did.

"Canadians just would not stand for it."

To their shame.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-26 12:38:50 AM


In reply to Greg Outside Dallas, yes, there are serious flaws in the Canadian Governmental System.

The House of Commons is the main body of governance, and the Prime Minister is the leader of the political party with the most 'seats' in this house. This means that, since there are several political parties, you can end up, as we have, with a PM whose party was voted in by only 34% of the entire population! And remember, the PM is not, as is the President of the US, voted for by the people. He is the leader of a political party and is voted in as such, only by members of that party at one of their conventions. But he is not voted in as leader, by the whole population.

As such, what dominates the decision-making system, can end up as the agenda of this unelected political leader. How? The PM can insist that his party not have a 'free vote' on issues; they must all vote as he tells them to. This has become more and more the rule in Canada, where the party is instructed to vote 'as a bloc' by their leader. This means that the leader gets HIS decisions through parliament.
What does this mean? Canada at the moment, is not, I maintain, a democracy but an oligarchy. It's run by the agenda of a small group of elected and primarily unelected people, in the Montreal-Ottawa corridor, based around Power Corporation-the Desmarais Group.

The Senate is irrelevant, in my view and a great waste of money. The Senators, ie. the Upper House, are not elected but are chosen by the Prime Minister! This has reduced the process to one of pure patronage, for the benefits of pay, benefits and pension. They are invisible in the political scenario. They are theoretically set up to provide a 'sober second thought'; what nonsense. You could get the same with a review committee for 1/10th of the money and none of the patronage. There is no accountability for this body, for they are appointed rather than elected.There's no need for them to show up; they simply draw their salaries; they can't be flung out.

They are a vestige of the English class system, where the Canadian Senate is equivalent to the House of Lords..i.e., an acknowledgment of a traditional agricultural economy where the Lords owned and managed the major economic system - the land.

The Governor-General is also a vestige, in this case, she 'represents' the Queen. In the current situation, the present G-G, Ms Clarkson has been having the time of her life - she's been spending our money like buckets from heaven; travelling, parties, ceremonies where people are supposed to bow before her. She's been playing Queen and is having a great time. On our money. How's that for democracy and equality???

Bilingualism. I've mentioned that..a top-down enforcement in an attempt to make a whole population, spread out over a vast territory, homogeneous. Top down enforced homogeneity. Quite something. The result after a full generation? The majority of the population are barred from participation in federal governance. Because only 10% of the anglophone population will ever be bilingual; the rest are excluded from federal governance. That leaves governance to this 10% and the 48% of the francophone population. Just looking at statistics - that's an unrepresentative governance.

Also- unlike the US system, with its limits on presidential power, i.e., with the checks and balances provided by the Senate and House and the time limit of serving as President (two terms)...the Canadian system has no checks and balances on power. The Senate doesn't provide one. The PM can bully through his agenda by insisting that all party members 'follow the line'. And, if he has a majority, or links up with another party - his agenda wins, even if it's flawed.

The ONLY opposition is provided by the empty term of 'The Official Opposition' which is whichever Other Party received second-best overall seats in the House. But, they have no power. All they can do is ask questions, and these are a joke. The gov't is not required to respond, fully and factually, to these questions. So- you get the ridiculous scenario in Question period (each question and answer limited to 30 seconds!!)..where the Opposition will ask a genuine question..but the Liberal Party will respond with platitudes and evasion. And that's all that the opposition can do. These 30second questions which need not be answered.

Accountability? None. We are finding more and more that our Liberal gov't has been acting in an unethical and corrupt manner - handing out huge contracts for work not done, favoritism, etc etc...very big scandals. But, most of this is hidden. The Auditor General is even forbidden to access certain books! We've managed to get an inquiry into one of the most recent corruptions, titled Adscam, and the Liberals are trying to close it down. Just as they've closed down other inquiries over the years...or...hidden funds in foundations and etc.

The Press and media? Well, the major television is a 'public' institution, i.e., owned by the gov't. So- its 'news' is heavily biased. The MSM are also part of the clique..and biased.

Opposition to the entrenched oligarchy is difficult, but, it's increasing. The rise of the West is hopeful..and blogs..are, in my view, very important.

Posted by: ET | 2005-03-26 7:23:53 AM


What ET is whining about, is not the current government, or the official opposition; its the Westminster Parliament that is the structure of the Government of Canada.

I strongly disagree because ET has an almost perverted idea of "power". Its "static" and "American". ET believes that power as "assigned" by election and is then "untouchable" for the duration of a "fixed term". But that is not the true nature of "power".

Power is "dynamic". It can shift, often dramatically and suddenly. It is "responsive" to the "will of the people". And thats the true source of "power" by MPs in Ottawa because they alone are the "representatives of the people", and once elected, they and they alone speak for the constituency in Ottawa in all political matters until the next election either confirms the incumbents or provides a new face.

MPs facing the loss of their seats usually overthrow a leader who is not capable of winning, which is the cardinal objective, or which should be the cardinal objective of MPs in Ottawa. Without seats, you cannot govern, and you cannot put forth alternative proposals for governance.

A leader of a Party gets to endorse or reject candidates for his party before an election for good reason. Canadians are entitled to have Party representatives that will in fact faithfully deliver on their promises.

But such leaders hardly have "absolute power". Rather its a "dynamic balance" between a leader's ability to articulate policy and the members of his caucus that wish to make progress on the Party agenda. There have been many examples in history where a party has sacked its leader, Margaret Thatcher being a good example, and where that would have happened in Canada but for a hasty resignation by the leader. Mulroney resigned before he would have been pushed. Same for Chretien.

Canadian Politics is not a game of patty-cake. Its a grinding and bruising business.

As for "civility" in "politics", that is not a "nicety" but a "necessity". Abrasive, and grinding leaders do not last. Just look at Mike Harris. Even acting like a baffoon, which is what Ralph Klein has done, makes the way forward a lot easier.

What ET dislikes as you can see from his post, is the Westminster Parliament itself. I take the opposite view; I believe that its vastly superior to the American Constitutional Congressional system.

The key difference, is that the Canadian Parliamentary System is "supreme" with "no limits" on its "power". In contrast, the American model of Congress is compartmentalized, with every compartment limited in both its scope and power. When the nation faces issues as it did this week with Terri and euthanasia, for example, the "will of the people" will be thwarted as was painfully obvious to everyone watching this unfolding drama.

The Congress, the Senate, the President, ALL OF THEM ACTING TOGETHER, could not get a simple legal result of attaching a feeding tube for a vulnerable and dependent adult in Florida. Its hard to imagine an example of greater governmental weakness than this.

And as has been clearly demonstrated, in such conditions, the American Courts always have the last word, and the Courts are always the last refuge of lawyers and the rich that hire and pay them.

Its hard to image anything less democratic than that.

In Canada, nothing like this could have happened. All it usually takes is a phone call from a government minister for some errant part of society to get the message that something is not acceptable. And unlike the US, in Canada, the Government does not have an impossible burden in Court to demonstrate its involvement. And indeed, Courts in Canada, at least in comparison to the US, are not "activist". For the most part, they are "passive" "interpreters" of the "law".

Avoiding "activist" courts in Canada largely happens as a direct result of our Westminster Parliamentary system of government.

Consequently unlike the American President, who is the elected "dictator" for four years, in Canada, a Prime Minister has enormous power, but its always dynamically balanced, and its always limited by his caucus.

Finally, the Canadian system of government favours "team players" and "grandstanding individualists" do not survive very long.

I have no problem with that.

The public agenda SHOULD not be the VISION of a single person. It should be a shared vision of a large party of people capable of actually governing and "making it so".

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-26 10:36:08 AM


Scott wrote:

""Parliament in Canada, unlike the American Congress, even has the power to constitute itself as a "court of law", not that it has ever done that since Confederation in 1867.""

"That's because the three branches of government are separate."

Therein lies the weakness of the American Congressional system of government.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-26 10:45:03 AM


ET was whining:

"She's been playing Queen and is having a great time. On our money. How's that for democracy and equality???"

Just fine, thank you very much. The Queen is the Head of State in Canada. The Prime Minister is the actual political leader and powerhouse. That is the actual nature of the Canadian Government.

The Governor General is the Queen's Representative, and ever since Vincent Massey, brother of Raymond Massey the actor; the Governor General has been a Canadian.

There are many tasks required of a Head of State. In Canada and in Australia and Britain, these "formalities" are handed off for the Queen and her prepresentatives to process and attend to.

Canadians need show NO DEFERENCE to the Prime Minister the way Americans are obliged to show to their President. What Americans call the "bully pulpit" does not exist in Canada. Nor should it.

Canadians understand that all Prime Ministers and Political Party leaders, are conniving, manipulative, and calculating politicians. However, respect for the Nation and the Country flows not the Prime Minister, or his Cabinet, but to the institution of the Monarchy.

The Canadian Monarchy is completely devoid of "power". and in fact its halfway between Heaven and Earth, since the Queen mostly cannot even be found on Canadian soil.

In its final analysis, the Monarchy is about the best that we can be as Canadians. and the Queen, articulates the best that we can be. The Governor General is the personal representative of Her Majesty, and likewise is expected to meet the highest standard of conduct and deportment, and always has.

The Institution of the Monarchy is responsible for "opening Parliament" and reading the "Speech from the Throne", a speech written entirely by the governing party.

As a result, the government agenda is not "secret" but "disclosed". It almost always reflects the ideas over which a general election has been fought.

Finally, if you compare the costs of the Office of the Governor General, you will find that its very modest even to the costs of the Monarchy in Britain, and that in turn is much more modest, than the gross excesses that the office of President costs Americans. Just have a look at how much money Americans lavish on this high office, in the 2004 election by itself, over a BILLION DOLLARS! It matters little if you are taxed or given the "Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge" treatment because you have to "contribute" as an American to maintain "access". Its a "tax" without rules.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-26 11:03:05 AM


"Canadians need show NO DEFERENCE to the Prime Minister the way Americans are obliged to show to their President. What Americans call the "bully pulpit" does not exist in Canada. Nor should it."

Pfffffffffffffft.

"In its final analysis, the Monarchy is about the best that we can be as Canadians. and the Queen, articulates the best that we can be. The Governor General is the personal representative of Her Majesty, and likewise is expected to meet the highest standard of conduct and deportment, and always has."

Ha!

"As a result, the government agenda is not "secret" but "disclosed". It almost always reflects the ideas over which a general election has been fought."

The State of the Union Address fulfills the same function.

"Just have a look at how much money Americans lavish on this high office, in the 2004 election by itself, over a BILLION DOLLARS! It matters little if you are taxed or given the "Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge" treatment because you have to "contribute" as an American to maintain "access". Its a "tax" without rules."

Like Canada's new party financing rules, where tax money was given to separatist parties? Ironically, an even more criminal scam - Adscam - was created to "fight" those very same people. Nice country.

The cost of the Presidency is small compared to the rest of the government.

Your dogged defence of the Ontario/corporate establishment is really funny. I hope you know that as an Albertan, they don't care a lick about you. I suppose it is a natural byproduct of taking orders from them for so many years that you obey your country uncritically.

Thank God I am Albertan, and lack the baggage that you "Canadians" have. America is our best friend, and have always treated us fairly. Canada has been deceptive, dishonest and cruel towards us. I hope you try that plan to cut off energy exports to settle your trade disputes. It will fail faster than Governor Klein can get to Washington to sign the statehood papers.

Free Alberta.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-26 12:45:11 PM


Scott wrote:

"Your dogged defence of the Ontario/corporate establishment is really funny. I hope you know that as an Albertan, they don't care a lick about you."

My defence is John Diefenbaker's defence. "One Canada". My country is Canada, and I regard myself as a Canadian, not a Biafran.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-26 4:50:46 PM


Re: Fixing the Democratic Deficit in Alberta

It is interesting to examine figures from the Chief Electoral Officers report on the last federal election to refute complaint by those like Scott that have said Alberta does not have adequate representation in Ottawa.

From Alberta’s population of 2,974,807, there were a total of 2,171,584 electors. Of this number 1,274,997 actually cast their ballots in the last federal election. Of the total votes case, 61.7% of the vote was cast for the Conservative Party of Canada, 22.0% of the vote was cast for the Liberal Party of Canada, 9.5% of the vote was cast for the NDP, and 6.1% of the vote was cast for the Green Party of Canada.

Of the remaining ten fringe parties, none of them obtained more than 2,550 votes for the entire Province.

An examination of the distribution of seats in Canada on a strict population basis would provide that of Canada’s 308 seats, 29 would be allocated to Alberta if the strict criteria by population were applied. In fact, Alberta had 28 seats contested, and the minor discrepancy of 1 seat is related to the fact that some sparsely populated constituencies do not have a very large population compared to its area. This is the case for the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Of Alberta’s 28 seats, on the basis of people actually voting for the parties, the Conservatives should have received 17 of the 28 seats, which is 9 seats fewer than their current allocation because of distortions in the “first past the post system”. The Liberals should have received 6 seats instead of the two they won outright. The NDP should have been allocated 3 seats, and the Green Party should have received 2 seats.

If the seats were assigned to MPs according to the size of their plurality, the following ranking would have taken place for the Conservatives
1 Crowfoot Kevin Sorenson
2 Medicine Hat Monty Solberg
3 Red Deer Bob Mills
4 McLeod Ted Menzies
5 Vegreville Wainwright Leon Benoit
6 Wetaskiwin Dale Johnston
7 Wild Rose Myron Thompson
8 Yellowhead Rob Merrifield
9 Calgary Southeast Jason Kenney
10 Calgary Southwest Stephen Harper
11 Westlock St. Paul Dave Chatters
12 Peace River Charlie Penson
13 Calgary Nose Hill Diane Ablonczy
14 Lethbridge Rick Casson
15 Calgary East Deepak Obhrai
16 Calgary Northeast Art Hanger
17 Athabaska Brian Jean

The Liberals would have six seats, assigned according to the percentage of the vote earned by each candidate. These are
1 Edmonton Belmont David Kilgour
2 Edmonton Centre Anne McLellan
3 Edmonton East John Bethel
4 Calgary South Centre Julia Turnbull
5 Edmonton Leduc Bruce King
6 Calgary West Justin Thompson

The NDP would then be allocated their three seats from the remaining seats in the order in which the Candidates earned votes the ridings.
1 Edmonton Strathcona Malcolm Alzania
2 Calgary North Centre John Chan
3 Edmonton St. Albert Mike Melymick

Finally the Green Party would be allocated their two seats from the remaining seats in the order in which the Candidates earned votes in the ridings.
1 Edmonton Sherwood Park Margaret Marean
2 Edmonton Spruce Grove Jerry Pashen

Of the 28 seats, 19 seats allocated in the first past the post system would be unaffected. Nine seats would be re-allocated according to the popular vote. The following are the loosing MPs.
1 Edmonton East Peter Goldring
2 Calgary South Centre Lee Richardson
3 Edmonton Leduc James Rijotte
4 Calgary West Rob Anders
5 Edmonton Strathcona Rahim Jaffer
6 Calgary North Centre Jim Prentice
7 Edmonton St. Alberta John Williams
8 Edmonton Sherwood Park Ken Epp
9 Edmonton Spruce Grove Rona Ambrose

It should be obvious that such a direct allocation of seats in the House would much more accurately reflect the voter’s preferences in Alberta and it would serve the purpose of giving a democratic voice to the people of Alberta in the House.

There are obviously too many Conservatives, compared to the number of people in Alberta actually supporting them and fixing the “democratic deficit” would entail a reduction in the number of Conservatives from the current 26 members, to 17 in line with the actual support the members received from the people of the Province.

Would Conservatives embrace such changes if they were made across Canada?

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-27 12:07:38 AM


ET, I appreciate your examination. Frankly, I am flabbergasted. Obviously, the Canadian system is deeply flawed and is in urgent need of profound reform. It is very difficult tto see how the Canadian people can be best served by the situation that you outline.

I see I need to find out more about Power Corporation - the Desmarais Group.

Down here we really have no position that is the equivalent to Ms. Clarkson's. About the closest we come to it would be "prom queen" or perhaps "harvest queen" (you know, the student body or someone elects the girl to this position and they give her a tiara and then she spends a year carrying out the duties of her reign). Perhaps Ms. Clarkson's job is something along these lines.

If the points you examine were more widely known in the USA, there would be a lot fewer American citizens wanting to move across the border.

Posted by: Greg outside Dallas | 2005-03-27 12:54:25 PM


Greg outside Dallas wrote:

"It is very difficult tto see how the Canadian people can be best served by the situation that you outline."

I am not surprised because you are an American, and you do not have anything like a Constitutional Monarchy in the US. The Queen "reigns", she does not "rule". The Governor General is the Queen's Representative. And the Queen, not the Prime Minister, is the Head of State of Canada.

That is not exactly a "college queen".

Greg continues with:

"I see I need to find out more about Power Corporation - the Desmarais Group."

Why? What business is it of yours as an American to meddle in Canadian affairs??? Or are you simply curious??? You know Greg, the same way I am curious about the Carlyle Group and their involvement with Islamic fundamentalist terrorists around the globe.

Then there is this:

"Down here we really have no position that is the equivalent to Ms. Clarkson's."

Well then Greg, you have a chance to learn something about a people and a country that do not think the way you do as an American. Learning is good for you Greg, it will broaden your horizons. You might even come to better understand your Northern Neighbours and understand why we are NOT Americans. Or why we do not WISH to become Americans.

Genuine Friendship begins with "understanding". I must say, there is very much for the US to learn from other countries around the globe. I will even acknowledge that I myself do not know all there is to know about America.


Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-27 9:57:52 PM


In reply to Greg Outside Dallas, yes, knowledge of the Power Corp. and the Desmarais family provides some enlightenment to the political scenario in Canada. This group effectively uses the Liberal Party as their political arm; decisions are made, via the Liberal Party, for their, not the country's interests and agenda. These interests include being opposed to the Iraq War (because of their own contracts with Hussein), and so on. You'll find the scenario and its network of controls and interests quite astonishing. Here are a few articles:

Mark Steyn. 'The Power behind the thrones'. Western Standard. Feb 14, 2005.
http://www.westernstandard.ca/website/index.cfm?page=article&article_id=542

And, another Mark Steyn. Western Standard. March 14, 2005. 'The scandal spills north.
http://www.westernstandard.ca/website/index.cfm?page=article&article_id=662

And, something by Judi McLeod on a firm of Paul Martin's. July 12, 2004. Canada Free Press.
http://www.canadafreepress.com/2004/main071204.htm

There's a nice analysis of bilingualism on the blog RightThinkingPeople - an excellent blog.
March 15, 2005. Adscam-The Quebec Connection

Yes, Canada is in serious structural and therefore operational trouble. The structure of a parliamentary system without open checks and balances, and without required accountability for its activities, has, along with the introduction of bilingualism and the gradual control of key public corporations (CBC radio and television, transportation, communication, newspapers), enabled an unelected oligarchy to emerge and corrupt a superficial democracy. Canada is now an oligarchy - and how we are going to get out of this mess - I've no idea. You don't vote out an oligarchy!

The corrupt nature of this reality is, more or less, hidden from the Canadian public, most of whom have never heard of the Power Corporation or the Desmarais family - and won't, because the media systems are controlled by the government or friends.

Then, because our economy requires no inventive or competitive work on our part, since the US consumer takes anything and everything we can produce, no matter how indifferent its quality, then we as an economic people, live reasonably comfortably. We don't have to think, do innovative research, compete on the world markets..Such an easy economy greatly enhances the ability of this oligarchy to continue in power without our awareness and rejection.

BUT - what it requires, is a stable, meek and homogenized population, one with no capacity or desire for questions and criticism. With the growth of the West, as a competitive rather than mere 'grow-and-sell' economy, a different mind-set has evolved in the West. It questions, while the Liberal brainwashed and braindead centralist population accepts and never questions. So- these rumblings are important. The oligarchy is going to try to put the West down.

As for the Governor-General and Adrienne Clarkson, yes, your image of her is correct. A 'prom-queen', living off the public purse, pretending to be Queen, insisting that each and all bow before her - while zipping around to her cottage and shopping trips in New York and Paris...all paid for by the public..A gross waste, and abuse of taxpayer money.

Posted by: ET | 2005-03-28 6:24:40 AM


ET has created a lot of bogeymen. Like the "oligarchy" for example. Not that ET believes in "conspiracies", only "big conspiracies".

In fact, Canada's economy is made up of several pieces. In the maritimes, you have the McCains and the Irvings, two families that have a pathological need to dominate and control everything. In Newfoundland they have a baby brother, run by Conservative Crosby family interests, who mercilessly exploited the fishermen and the fisheries of that Province until there was nothing left for anyone.

The scene in Quebec is centered on the Bombardier Family that has used the Provincial Government scene to do some pretty innovative things, like building up the Caisse Populaires for instance, which are Quebec Credit Unions, into formidable and powerful financial institutions. They are a major force behind the Quebec economy.

In Ontario, there is the Thompson Family and a number of others that powerfully dominate the economy of the Province, but none nearly as great as the American automobile manufacturers, Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.

In the West, the oil industry has gravitated to Calgary and the industry today is dominated by American multinational companies. They are basically turning Alberta into a large sandbox in the north with the tar sands. And American forestry interests are engaged in widescale clearcut operations that is turning Northern Alberta into a featureless moonscape. Alberta forests, once some of the richest in the boreal forests of the world, have been basically destroyed by irresponsible neoconservative exploitation policies. In the next five years, this industry is going to collapse for lack of trees.

To the extent of any localized capital pools in Alberta exist, these have come about by being "useful idiots" for American capital in Alberta that is exploiting the oil resources of Alberta.

In BC, there used to be an independant pool of smallish investors at the Vancouver Stock Exchange that funded up many mining and exploration plays, and many lumber and forestry plays, but these have been mostly destroyed and moved in recent years to a consolidated Toronto market.

You cannot easily build up capital pools when the country's industries are foreign owned and controlled, and all profits are exported out of the country. Its the curse of "foreign ownership".

There are long term answers to this problem, but most people are simply not ready to roll up their sleeves, again, and start working on this problem, because no-one has devised a method that would guarentee that another Mulroney sellout would not happen.

The US I might add is also experiencing a rather similar set of problems but on a larger scale. The US economy is being raped by multinational companies and its the long term interests of Americans and their government that is being affected. Basically Bush has duplicated the Mulroney "miracle" which is to say, the deepest public debts in American history and with a greatly diminished ability to pay those debts.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-28 9:55:03 AM



The comments to this entry are closed.