Saturday, January 14, 2006

Paul Martin: unscrupulous and dishonest

A great column by Michael Coren:

In calling for the government to abandon its power and ability to use the notwithstanding clause and thus overrule the Supreme Court, he demonstrated that he is out of touch, that he is unscrupulous and that, with all due respect, he is dishonest.

Dishonest because the last prime minister to actually threaten to use this exact measure was, yes, Paul Martin himself. Proving that he in fact believes in it, but during the debate was simply trying to provoke Stephen Harper and convince Canadians that the Conservatives are extreme.

Dishonest because Martin knows that the provinces would never agree to this policy and he would need the support of at least half of them to initiate such a vital constitutional discussion. A discussion, by the way, that could have unforeseen and disastrous consequences.
Finally, he is unscrupulous because if, by some chance, he did actually believe in such a policy, it would mean the end of parliamentary democracy as we know it. Any controversial issue previously decided by MPs could and would be deemed a "rights" issue and thus sent to the courts for a ruling. That decision would be sacrosanct, binding and could not be challenged.

This would effectively end 1,000 years of democratic evolution and give absolute power to judges appointed by the PM. As the highest courts are now hearing cases on issues ranging from gun control, medical policy, sexuality, alcohol and drugs to broadcasting, we would be governed by a cabal of lawyers.


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