Saturday, May 16, 2015

Spread this around.

It's "as if in 2005 we would have erased retroactively all of the audits that Sheila Fraser did in the sponsorship scandal" or "if there are allegations of electoral fraud, we would decide to pass a law to retroactively eliminate and erase all investigations," she explained.


Scotian said...

If we needed any further proof of just how truly corrupt this government is, this is the example to do so. It will I expect also show just how subservient to craven our national political media have become to this government because this by all rights especially given it is coming from an officer of Parliament who is NOT known for such language is truly on a similar scale of power corruption as the Nixon Watergate cover-up operations as well as the initial break-in act. The targets of that abuse of power and retroactive attempts to protect it may be different but the underlying elements in terms of abuse of power and the belief that whatever this government/PM does is automatically legal aka above the law regardless of the actual laws in effect at the time are clearly the same.

Yet somehow I expect we will see this get little true attention and focus as it deserves aside from a handful of process oriented journalists, and the rest will consider more the basic political horserace implications than the truly staggering and horrifying level of open/naked abuse of power corruption and disregard for the most basic rule of law by this government, indeed by any Canadian government in our history I would suggest. No government should nor has the moral/ethical, and one would argue the legal right to break the law to suit itself, retroactively go back and wipe it away, and then wipe away any ability for the responsible legal bodies to even investigate any such legal breeches. This is truly, even by Harperium standards egregious and dangerous, and underscores why or the last decade I've said this man and his party are the most dangerous thing to come along for the long term survival of Canada as a nation since at least the separatists in Quebec, and as it turned out even more so.

This not only needs spreading around it needs to be shouted from every rooftop along with the explanation as to why this is so horrific, unprecedented in Canadian political history, and why it truly is Nixonian in all the worst ways. Will it get that treatment? I truly doubt it, and the fact that this is the most likely outcome going by past performance shows just how truly far we have fallen since the Martin government left power. Anyone that claims the Libs are anywhere near as bad as Harper and his CPC need to seriously look at the factual record of how each government operates in both minority and majority government position and it is so fundamentally obvious and clear the wide divergences on not just what they believe policywise but more fundamentally on how they approach political process across the board. One respected it generally speaking and disavowed those that breached it, the other has shown contempt at literally every chance, even to the point of being the only government in the Commonwealth to ever be formally sanctioned for contempt of Parliament, and that was before the majority which put what they did in minority to shame.

This is a case of abuse of power and disregard for the most basic precepts of the rule of law and equality under the law any Canadian federal government has ever even consider let alone started to implement. When I first heard about this I literally started to weep, as in tears fell from my eyes, because I as a process geek truly appreciate just how extremely dangerous and horrific this actually is whatever one's political persuasion. This is not the Canada my family helped build and fought for since Confederation. This is something that dishonours and shames us all.

jrkrideau said...

I wonder how this will stand up to a Supreme Court challenge? I was of the impression that British jurisprudence did not accept retroactive laws. Well except in the USA where they seem to have invented a new law for Omar Kahr and a few others.

Dana said...

From wikipedia:

In Canada, ex post facto criminal laws are constitutionally prohibited by section 11(g) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Also, under section 11(i) of the Charter, if the punishment for a crime has varied between the time the crime was committed and the time of sentencing following a conviction, the convicted person is entitled to the lesser punishment.

Because Section 11 of the Charter is among the sections that can be overridden under Section 33 (the notwithstanding clause), Parliament could in theory enact ex post facto laws by invoking Section 33. However, the federal Parliament (which has the sole power to enact laws punishable for violation by two years or more in penitentiary) has never attempted to enact an ex post facto law (or any other law) using Section 33.

It should be emphasized that the Charter prohibition applies only to criminal law. Changes to civil law in Canada can be (and occasionally are) enacted ex post facto. In one example, convicted murderer Colin Thatcher was ordered to forfeit proceeds from a book he had published (after being paroled from prison) under Saskatchewan's Son of Sam law. Although the Saskatchewan law was passed long after Thatcher's murder conviction, the courts have ruled that Son of Sam laws prescribe only civil penalties (as opposed to additional criminal penalties) and are thus not subject to Charter restrictions.