Two issues in the news today caught my attention. The first was no charges will be coming forth regarding the robocall affair. With the exception of Michael Sona, whose court case begins June 2, Elections Canada states there is insufficient information to show “intent”.
I guess where that causes me concerns is the focus on intent. I highly doubt that a person gets in their car after drinking to much and intentionally plans on killing someone with their vehicle. Intent may be an argument in the level of the charge but shouldn’t allow someone to avoid their day in court. Past performance and activities also has to be taken into account. After all this is a government that introduced a secret 200 page handbook on how to disrupt Committee meetings. How much intent does one need exhibit to show how determined they are to disrupt democracy in Canada? And the fastest way to disrupt democracy is to disenfranchise voters!
Intent? Well Canadians watched as Dean Del Maestro bull dozed the House for months on the ethical and competent behaviour of this government in his defence over the robocall scandal. Del Maestro was the Parliamentary Secretary to our Prime Minister and now now facing four charges brought forward by Elections Canada. In June of 2013 Mr. Del Maestro claimed he felt “violated and betrayed” by Elections Canada but in September he was tearfully resigning. He will enter his plea May 15 with court dates set for mid-June. This, to me, not only shows a pattern of behaviour with the Conservative government but also adds a lot of credence to the comment made by Geoff Norquay on Power & Politics regarding the proposed Fair Elections Act being an act of vengeance on the part of the government towards Elections Canada.
Tomorrow Friday April 25/14 the Supreme Court of Canada is expected to bring down its ruling regarding the governments ability to make substantial changes to the Senate. The crux of this matter is whether the government can do it without opening a Constitutional debate. There certainly doesn’t appear to be much of an appetite for that in Canada however it may just fit right into the Prime Ministers agenda. What better way to break down Canada then to open the Constitution?
I really have to question the Prime Ministers commitment to change or even his desire to “improve” the Senate. PM Harper has appointed 59 Senators since taking power which is a pretty good number considering he was on record as saying he would never appoint one. I realize that wasn’t very realistic. After all you can’t have half the Senate sitting empty particularly when the seats that would be full where Liberal appointments. Don’t get me wrong, both major parties have done this but maybe it is time to look at “who” gets appointments to the Senate and not “who” they know!
However with that said if PM Harper was serious over Senate reform maybe he should have focused on appointments that were based on merit and not partisanship. With Duffy, for example, it has become fairly public that he was appointed due to his ability to raise money for the Conservative Party. Is that a role for a legitimate Senator? Right now we are immersed in Senate scandal’s where the perpetrators of the events are Harper appointee. That doesn’t connect with the message of “cleaning up the Senate” Prime Minister Harper was/is promoting.
If PM Harper is really serious about Senate reform maybe he should role model this by vetting based on merit and not party line. IF we have to go back down that constitutional road I’m pretty sure we can kiss the Canada we use to know goodbye which may work for this government!
Just one man’s opinion