Friday, May 20, 2011

Daily Digest May 20, 2011


The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN'S to VICTORIA.
ARCHIVED at http://cdndailydigest.blogspot.com/

PAPERS PAGEs

ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - CORNER BROOK WESTERN STAR - CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - CAPE BRETON POST - HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - SAINT JOHN TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL -
  • Prime Minister Harper's re-appointment to the Senate of two senators who resigned from the Senate to run for the Conservatives in the recent federal election raises serious questions about whether the senators were guaranteed in advance that they would be re-appointed if they lost the election. http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/1407975
MONTREAL GAZZETTE OTTAWA CITIZEN - KINGSTON WHIG STANDARD- TORONTO STAR - GLOBE & MAIL - NATIONAL POST - SUNS - HAMILTON SPECTATOR - ST. CATHARINES STANDARD - NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW - K-W RECORD - WINDSOR STAR - SUDBURY STAR - THUNDER BAY CHRONICLE JOURNAL - WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - SASKATOON STARPHOENIX - CALGARY HERALD - EDMONTON JOURNAL - GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE - LETHBRIDGE HERALD - PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN - VANCOUVER SUN - VANCOUVER PROVINCE - VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST -
OPINION AND INFORMATION

Tory battle brewing ahead of convention
A battle is shaping up inside Tory ranks ahead of its national convention next month. It's pitting members of the old Canadian Alliance party against former Progressive Conservatives in Quebec and Atlantic Canada. The Canadian Press has learned that even Defence Minister Peter MacKay ­ one of the founding fathers of the Conservative party ­ has raised the alarm about a possible fight. MORE...
CPCWatch Bonus: The complete draft list of proposed constitutional amendments
Just to be clear, these are proposed amendments to the party constitution -- not It That Shall Never Ever Be Reopened -- and not every submission will ultimately make it to the floor of the upcoming convention for debate. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-blog/2011/05/cpcwatch-bonus-the-complete-draft-list-of-proposed-constitutional-amendments.html
Post-election agenda: Fighting back and thinking big
http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/derrick/2011/05/post-election-agenda-fighting-back-and-thinking-big >


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PM's Senate appointments 'boggle the mind,' but could spur hot support for Senate reforms, says Tory pundit Powers
http://www.hilltimes.com/dailyupdate/view/159

Powers may be correct. Perhaps the reappointments were planned to "could spur hot support for Senate reforms" by a master strategist. On the other hand it may bring these into play:
Section 119 of the Criminal Code, http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/page-88.html, prohibits anyone from offering, and any MP or senator from accepting, "any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment in respect of anything done … by them in their official capacity."  And Section 124 http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/page-91.html  prohibits resignations, or appointing people to offices for a reward or profit.

If you haven't read the following letter-to-the-editor, do so.

Was the action in your view, whether part of a plan or not, a wise or foolish move?

        Joe
 
DemocracyWatch questions whether Prime Minister Harper's Senate appointments were pre-arranged, which would raise legal issues

Set out below is a letter-to-the-editor by Democracy Watch Coordinator Duff Conacher which was published on May 19, 2011 on TheMarkNews .com.

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From: Mahmood Elahi
To: <letters@ottawacitizen.com>
Subject: Democracy is not a tyranny of the majority and calls for checks and balances

The Editor
Ottawa Citizen
 
Copy to: Prof. Desmond Morton, Founding Director, McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.
 
Democracy is not a tyranny of the majority and calls for checks and balances
 
Re "A nation divided by an election," by Desmond Morton (May 16).
 
Prof. Morton has touched the crux of the problem vis a vis a majority government when he says: "Harper and many of his voters may want to forget about Quebec and its demands."  Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been highly autocratic even when he was running a minority government and now with a majority, he might be even less responsive to the opposition demands. With the prime minister enjoying the monopoly on power, we need some checks and balances. The inventors of democracy might have some answers.
 
Democracy was invented by the ancient Athenians who believed that oligarchs and aristocrats didn't have any divine right to rule and ordinary citizens must have a say in the governing. So they invented a system of government involving all citizens and called it Demokratia -- government by the people. But they also found out that democracy is not majority rule. When they allowed the majority to rule, the poor majority imposed heavy taxes on the rich minority. To stem any tyranny of the majority, they created the Athens Council, composed of 500 citizens chosen through lottery. The Athens Council had the power to override any decision that ignored the legitimate concerns of the minority.
 
We can turn our patronage-driven Senate into a nonpartisan body to provide some checks on the prime minister and the ruling majority. Instead of appointing them on partisan basis, the Senators should be appointed like Supreme Court Judges on a non-partisan basis. Like the Athens Council, the Senate will have the power to override any decision that ingnored any legitimate concerns of the minority.
 
Mr. Harper should remember that democracy is not a tyranny of the majority. It is a system of government in which all citizens and their representatives must have a say in the governing.
 
MAHMOOD ELAHI

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From: Robert Ede
Subject: Simple(ton) Majority of 50%+1 "ain't" democracy either
To: letters@herald.ca
Cc: To: letters@herald.ca
Cc: Pierre Bourque <pierre@bourque.com>,

Dear Ed,
 
Re: Simple democratic majority governments virtually impossible  (spotted on Bourque.com)
 
Mr Charles W. Moore, correctly states that Proportional Representation (PR) sour-grape stompers use the "less than 50% of total vote cast" as an approach to attack our first-past-the-post (I prefer "best of the bunch") plurality system of vote-tallying in each local constituency/riding.
 
My feeling is that the "best of the bunch" system serves us as well as any of the currently-touted-by-also-rans alternative systems - PR (multi-varietal), Single Transferable (sweet nose, but muddied complexity in after-taste) and etc
 
Instead of fiddling with the system of choosing MP's, I believe we should focus our attention on the "majority" required to pass a Bill in committees and in the Commons & Senate.
 
Surely no "democrat" (social-d, pur laine or plain-vanilla) thinks that the proposals of 50% LESS-One are completely invalid, useless, stupid or wholly ill-conceived. But,  that is how we treat those opinions with our 50%+1 simple(ton) majority system.
 
Consider the arithmetic of 308 --155 vs153, alas, .... so close and yet so far ....
 
I think we should take a lesson from our Constitutional Act of 1791 (and many other sources) and use two-thirds (66.7%) as the threshold of consent.
 
If this is too big a step towards re-forming/ transforming the a) behaviour of individuals within, and b) functioning as-a-unit of, the Upper & Lower Houses within our Legislative Power (vis a vis Executive Power), then continue to allow Bills to pass with less than 66.7%, but insert an automatic 5-year sunset clause (requiring renewal for continuation), as we did in the Notwithstanding Clause (s.33) of 1982.
 
Treat the cause, not the symptom.
 
Get radical Canada ...ie "to the root"
 
Truly,
 
Robert Ede,

===================================
From: "Glenn Harewood"
Subject: Re: Pertaining to The Government of the 41st Parliament

Joe:
RE: Bal Gosal.. Who Dat.??

Known  very well to me. He was part of my PCPC executive for Brampton-West-Mississauga in 2000. He is very ambitious, and wanted to challenge me for the nomination in 2000. He bolted to the CONS after the Reformist/CA high-jacked the PCPC in 2003, always hoping that he would be elected at some level.
He is a type of "yes-man" and will do anything to get elected. He has run and lost for the provincial Conservatives in different Toronto West ridings at least twice, was a "bag-man" at Tony Clement's bidding during the Harris era. My guess is that he is a token appointment to the Cabinet because he brings representation from the Sikh community in the wider Brampton area. During  his time on my executive I do not recall his proposing any substantive ideas. It's left to see how he will perform.
 
General comment: Judging from the mere five questions that Harper took today after the swearing-in of his new Cabinet, and from his PMO's announcement 20 minutes AFTER the question scrum, of the appointment to the Senate of three "defeated CON candidates in the May 2nd. election, there is every indication that Harper intends to continue to run the show even more arrogantly than he did during the past five years. The Harper "dénouement" of the traditional Canadian democratic institutions and values will continue.
 
Glenn Harewood

===================================
From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: DD

Joe--all I can say about the appointments by Harper is 'who cares'?  What difference will it make to the people?  They will all continue to obey the dictates of the controllers and not give one thought to what is best for the people or for Canada.  Just more theatre to keep us from seeing the true picture--the demise of Canada.  I see the US is concerned about our porous border.  Then we read two differing stories--one that Canada does not share info on people deemed a 'danger to security' and that our border is so porous.  Then we read that Canada shares names with the US re dangerous Canadians and that we will be put on a no fly list because we might have friends that are considered dangerous??  We are supposed to believe that the US would do a better job if they took over our borders--and by extension our country?
When I was a child I loved playing games, but as an adult I cannot buy into the farce that game playing has become to the detriment of our sovereignty. 
Becky

===================================
From: Robert Ede
Subject: Neo-Con? Neo-Reform? Neo-Suckers -- Same anti-legal system, same result.
To: sstinson@nationalpost.com, nationalpost <letters@nationalpost.com>,
         "Letters (National Post)" <letters-2@nationalpost.com>,
         "Corcoran, Terry (National Post)" <TCorcoran@nationalpost.com>

Executive Summary
 
...don't blame the Rt Hon Mr Harper, he's just blithely following the anti-legal footsteps in the snow of Messers King, Trudeau, Mulroney & Chretien.
 
If the government is not following the Constitution .... what rules ARE they following?
 
Mr Stinson & Editors,
 
Good stuff in Harper plays Canadians for suckers!
 
I will be a little bit gentler on dear ol' Firewall Steve, more akin to the approach taken by Mr Corcoran in The government is too big, not the Cabinet - don't damn the sinner, damn the sin!  
 
The as-written Constitution has been raped and pillaged (right under our noses) and the whole as-written system of checks and balances has become bastardized into non-effect - just read the "in-Council Community's" bafflegab blatherings on Ministerial Responsibility as a sample of self-serving dis-information.
 
So don't blame the Rt Hon Mr Harper, he's just blithely following the anti-legal footsteps in the snow of Messers King, Trudeau, Mulroney & Chretien.
 
Our hugely-overweight governance system is a function of two things - that every "ordinary Canadian" takes as given:
 
1) the government-in-the-Commons, created by an election, has a mandate to "manage" the Canadian economy, its industries, assets, treasury, its people, its currency, its communications & transportation systems ....in anyway it (an incumbent-seeking-re-election) sees fit;
 
2) the government-in-the-commons, created by an election, soon becomes as self-serving and arrogrant as "da bums" we just "threw out" for the same bad behaviour.
 
The quintessential fact that is widely-unknown (or purposely ignored) is that this same government-in-the-commons, created by an election is but the lowest "link" in a hierarchical 4-level, "chain of command" with elegant checks and balances, that is eminently suitable for today's Canada. (NB 3 small non-constitutional changes ARE required see below)
 
Huh?
 
Canada now & forever has been a constitutionally-limited Monarchy .... not a democracy - although we have a "democratic element" at the bottom of our foundational "power-sharing agreement".
 
Every official and elected representative is a "steward" of the Crown, who swears loyalty to the Crown, whose authority flows from the Crown, and who is ONLY accountable to the Crown (except when they need their 'contract' renewed by Jean/Carol Canuck and they pretend otherwise, in the oft-successful game of fooling enough of us to stay on the pension/power trip).
 
 
So the real question becomes -in 2011, what/who is the "Crown"?
 
Surely .... after all the fiddling with the Statute of Westminster of 1931, Letters Patent in 1947, Canadian Citizenship, partial-Patriation in 1982 ( see EndNote 80), Charter of conditional-Rights and limits-to-Freedoms ... that the "Crown" has been "re-defined" or "re-formed" or modernized or "something"? .... or is the Crown still "legally" what it was in 1867?
 
Well, if HRH is the Boss ... why doesn't She stop some of the stupid stuff our trying-to-stay-in-office buffoons do? Why doesn't She exercise the still-existing Disallowance power ( ss.56 + 90) that Mr Trudeau was complaining about in his opposition to Charlottetown speeches in 1992?
 
And if the Governor General is the "delegate/representation" of the Monarch's Canadian "sovereignty" why doesn't s/he Reserve a Bill or two, or Withhold Assent on a particularly odious patronage/payoff program when it's legislated into being?
 
Mr Trudeau challenged Mr Mulroney to also address this power of Reservation (ss. 55& 57 +90) at the same time!
 
And if the GG is the "legal" top of the totem pole, why has the GG's institutional-memory of independent advisors ( s.11) been stripped from its place in the (superior) Executive Power and been allowed to continue (only since 1940 -- see pdf at bottom of link) in the control of the (constitutionally-inferior) Legislative Power's kingpin-of-the day?
 
Never mind that the Kingpin is wielding all this power with as little as a 50%+1 majority in a House whose 'confidence' s/he controls with a mandate from ~40% of the electorate!
 
Further, the Upper House, styled "the Senate" is superior to the "Lower" House. It's the only office in Canada with a Property-ownership & Net Worth qualifications/disqualifications ss28+31 AND a special Oath Schedule 5 specifically banning 'collusively or colourably' obtaining those qualifications, but blatant patronage appointments & inflation ($4000 qualification has never been adjusted-for-inflation s/be ~$240-$320,000) have allowed the Plebes'-representatives to paint the Patricians-representatives into a corner via (social)"democratic demagoguery".
 
 
Where is this all "written down"? The BNA/Constitution Acts 1867-as amended ( annotated Plain Language Version)
 
Yes, the Constitution --it's NOT about Quebec, it's about you!!
 
No need to take my word for it --read it!
 
There, in plain text, you discover "what's gone wrong that you can't quite put your finger on" and with a little poking around, you can discover how "your sovereignty" has been "kidnapped and locked in a tower" by the behind-the-barricades 'dogs of war' who want to keep "your inheritance" for themselves.
 
If the government is not following the Constitution .... what rules ARE they following?
 
Oh yes, the 3 small changes .... Rescind Order in Council P.C. 1940-1121, adjust the Senate's $4,000 qualifications for inflation & select our recommendation for GG by at-large election.
 
Robert Ede,
Thornhill On

===================================
From:  Anthony Silvestro
Subject: letter, RE - New cabinet

  Letter to the editor, Re – New cabinet…
 
5 of 6 seats from kebec (original native spelling) in cabinet, just sickening. 3 clowns to the senate, $$$... Have you heard this idiot Verner or Paradis speak English? They have made no effort to learn how to speak English properly. What an embarrassment, ESL idiots, ESL.  More kebec butt kissing, well done Harper...we are not impressed.

Its pretty simple really. Quebec did not vote for the Conservative and do not deserve to be over-represented in cabinet. Only 6 seats from Kebec, don't forget that Harper. We outside kebec gave you the majority, not Quebec!!!
 
So tell us why Kebec is over-represented again??? They did NOT vote for you, so why reward them? Oh and how many can speak English fluently? Exactly!!! ESL dummies, show some respect to the rest of the country. Well come on, lets hear the spin so called "conservatives".

We can only hope that finally Quebec will be put in its place. You are just a province like Newfoundland, Alberta, Ontario…no different, nothing special other than the fact that you have spent the last 5 decades wiping out the English language and culture from the province with racist, anti-English language laws such as bill 22, 178, 101…This is a fact. Racism, intolerance, bigotry, ethnic language cleansing and human rights violations still going on in the province of Quebec.

I love the fact that you can have a majority without Quebec. You do not need to pander to Quebec any longer. Enough is enough. This province can not be satisfied period. They are a drain on the country, socially and fiscally. No more pandering to this province period. We are watching.

Majority rules ??? I guess we will see. Here is my wish list to fixing this country. Now let's get to work repealing decades of bad expensive laws forced upon the country by tax and spend, scum bag, socialist, anti-English language, anti-BNA, bigoted, Quebecers. Repeal the charter, end forced phony expensive metis/french bilingualism, multiculturalism, lower/change immigration, eliminate equalization, ad the 30 new seats in Parliament (Ontario, Alberta, BC), reduce Kebecs seats, elected senate/or abolish – fixed terms (8 years max), fixed terms for MPs as well (8 year max), lower/reduce gold plated MP pensions, end subsidies to parties, lower all taxes, eliminate (not reduce) debt, reduce the size of government/RCMP…eliminate departments, public servant salary cap… Tell unions to rot in hell or Kebec. This would be nice start.

Get to work Harper; you have a majority, do something with it or else…you will lose money, and our votes, I guarantee it.
 
Anthony Silvestro
Ottawa
,Ont

===================================
From: Rebecca Gingrich
_______
Subject: is Harper going to this meeting???

BILDERBERGERS DANGEROUS 
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/bilderbergers_dangerous_269.html
An influential legislator from Switzerland's largest political party has issued a strongly worded letter to the head of the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police, saying that the globalist Bilderberg group's planned meeting in Switzerland June 9-12 threatens the nation's deep-seated traditions of populist rule and neutrality as well as bringing many disreputable participants, some of whom are accused war criminals, to the traditionally neutral country.
_______
Subject: will we ever wake up?

Apparently we need to hold the Arar inquiry all over again
http://www.pogge.ca/
Because we didn't learn anything from it the first time around.
Canadians secretly added to U.S. security list: WikiLeaks

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada's principal intelligence agency, routinely transmits to U.S. authorities the names and personal details of Canadian citizens who are suspected of, but not charged with, what the agency refers to as "terrorist-related activity." The criteria used to turn over the names are secret, as is the process itself.
_______
Subject: more bs

While we are watched to see who our friends are, taxed to the max, and on, and on the government tries to baffle us with BS over the funding of this despicable group.  Why on earth are our tax dollars going to fund any band?  I know the answer I got from Sheila Copps when I asked this question was 'rulers all through history have supported the arts'--BUT--why do the taxpayers have to support them now. (I had written to Copps after the taxpayer gave thousands of dollars to finance the 'art'--twelve dead rabbits hanging in a tree) Or do our rulers consider spending our money on garbage like this is what a good 'ruler' does?
Becky

Heritage minister blasts B.C. punk band's 'Poo Testament'
http://www2.canada.com/nanaimodailynews/news/story.html?id=4808732

===================================
From: John Halonen
Subject: Re: Pertaining to The Government of the 41st Parliament

How fortunate we are to have a Prime Minister that selects cabinet members from all regions in Canada.

How unfortunate we are that he listens to none of them and wastes Canadian taxpayer dollars for no reason.

Harper is a seasoned politician, one that portrays to the public that he represents them, only to follow his own agenda.

True colours were shown when he appointed 3 individuals to the Senate,  when the Canadian public had voted that they were not even capable of representing their ridings. Must be that he knows better!!!!!!!

We as Canadians may be doomed as by the time the next election comes all laws that affect most Canadian citizens will be changed forever.
A case in point is Bill 52, that could cause even the distribution of information thru the internet to be held back from Canadian citizens.

It is quite peculiar that even our National Media do not appear to be concerned.

===================================
From: Rebecca Gingrich
_______
Subject: Coming soon to Canada???  I wondered about the agricultural question on the census

We can't trust our own government
http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/we-cant-trust-our-own-government/
May 17, 2011 by ppjg
In order for this new, soon to be created agency to be able to track and control who produces food of any kind, either this new government corporation or HSD, will pull in the twelve agencies now supposedly overseeing food production. Now it all makes sense and the pieces all begin falling into place. 
_______
Subject:  no truer words were ever written
 
"We've lived so long under the spell of hierarchy-from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses-that only recently have we awakened to see not only that "regular" citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed.
 
The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high." -  Frances Moore Lappé, Time for Progressives to Grow Up

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