After much prodding by other bloggers, I set this up for my own writings. The name is in honour of the two women that mentored me throughout my life on politics and intelligence issues, as well as being wonderful family members, now alas deceased. I hope to live up to their standards at this site.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Does Vellacott represent Harper's view of the court? Or for that matter aboriginals?

In the last few weeks Maurice Vellacott has come to my attention twice for making statements that are clearly provocative, inflammatory and arguably slanderous. First he supports the police department with a record of leaving aboriginals out in the middle of nowhere to freeze to death by claiming they were out partying, and now he is paraphrasing Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Beverly McLachlin to the point where his paraphrase has no contact with reality. Especially when he claims that the Chief Justice said what he was saying she said. Yet when required to prove this he just hands out her speech, tells reporters to read it for themselves and they will see it, but when asked to point to exactly where in the speech she said what he claimed she did he apparently could not. No, he instead kept telling reporters to read it for themselves.

Vellacott made a very serious mistake with this statement. If he had kept it to his opinion that this is what McLauchlin had said actually means in practice then maybe he might have gotten away with it, maybe, however he said that SHE said exactly what he was claiming yet could not provide the citation to prove it. This makes him out to be a bit of a liar in my view, and someone that is more interested in believing his own opinion of what someone really means than actually properly citing her actual words. Worse in my view is that even if this is his opinion of what she meant and honestly held it was totally dishonest to claim that this was what she actually said herself. He should have brought up the relevant passage(s) of her speech, said this is what he believed it meant, and then he might have not stirred up the trouble he has. This was dishonest politics at best.

When one takes the reality that this is the man that Prime Minister Harper felt was appropriate to chair the aboriginal affair committee despite his own statements regarding the Saskatoon police versus aboriginals freezing to death, one is forced to wonder just how much Vellacott is off the CPC reservation or whether he is only off their public portrayal of their reservation. Me, I am becoming increasingly convinced that those like Vellacott actually do represent Harper's views on aboriginal issues (having Tom Flanagan so close to him doesn't exactly make that hard to buy either) and given Harper's comments on the bureaucracy and the courts,(following link via POGGE since all references I can find are to a G&M article behind firewall) especially the Supreme Court in the last election I am inclined to believe that what Vellacott said was in keeping with the actual view of Harper and the CPC leadership where the courts are concerned.

This is not a small matter, despite all the attempts to make it out as such. What this man did was act in a manner completely out of proper decorum and respect between the branches of government. The last thing this country needs is to have the Supreme Court and the current government engaged in a partisan war, especially when one considers the partisan wars are being started by political partisans leaving the judiciary with one of two choices. Either they ignore it altogether and keep getting slandered or they rebut in defence and get labeled partisans for daring to be critical of a sitting government. Seeing what happened to their American brethren over the last couple of decades I am not at all surprised by this Chief Justice coming out on having her words severely misstated and then attached to her by a political actor, one that happens to be a member of the governing party.

So which is it Harper/CPC? Are you the moderates you painted yourselves as during the last election or are you the ideologues that you presented yourselves as from the birth of the CPC to the last election cycle? Given the views on the courts and aboriginals we have seen from the ACTIONS of this government as opposed to their pretty language and rhetoric I would argue the ideological agenda is the real agenda for which Harper is so desperate to gain a CPC majority for. This is in my opinion the ONLY reason this party branded itself moderate and is trying to act as such in this minority government, and why comments like Vellacott's are so problematic for them to be dealing with as well as showing a potential insight into the true aims of this party in government.

Given Harper's willingness to politicize his office as he showed in Ontario with his going to a Provincial PC fundraiser calling John Tory the next Premier of Ontario right after a brief meeting with the current Premier this is becoming increasingly obvious. This is a government that has one agenda while in minority, and that is to gain majority. It is when they have a majority that the true full CPC agenda will be made public and implemented even though it will not have been the agenda they were elected to do. We have already seen just how easily Harper and the CPC will promise one thing in running for power and then do the opposite once in power, (Fortier, Emerson, etc) so the idea that with a majority there will be an entirely different agenda put into action than the one campaigned one is no great leap to make.


Anonymous Craig said...

Who is the Supreme Court accountable to?

The people of Canada who pay them?

Or are they infallible and "above criticism?" Even Liberals have complained about judge made law.

As long as these fallible just like you and me human beings are appointed by political affiliation the mistrust of their open mindedness will linger.

It is the perception of bias that is as damning as the reality.

The more open and accountable appointment of Supreme Court judges proposed will not now be able to be implemented until 2012 when the next one retires.

Until then the reality is that they were political appointees by a government that was perceived to be corrupt. Corrupt politicians appoiinting even the most non-biased judges still ahve tainted the public as to their impartiality.

Fact of life. The complaints by citizens will continue about this and there are many who agree with Velacott including Liberals. This fake outrage is political gamesmanship.

Mon May 08, 10:53:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous CuriositykilledTheCat said...

Who's next?

Now that the parties with the majority of seats in Parliament have jointly decided to uphold standards required of MPs, and so brought about the resignation of Villacott for his negative comments on the Supreme Court, who is next?

How about the three parties calling on Environment Minister Rona Ambrose to step down as chairwoman of international talks looking into ways to strengthen the Kyoto protocol on climate change? Given the Tory party's decision not to abide by Kyoto, her retention of that position is a mockery and a disservice to Canadians in the eyes of the world.

The only honest course is for her to resign and let a representative of another country which supports Kyoto take her place.

It is not fitting for Canada to support this mockery of world values any longer.

Perhaps the Liberals could table a resolution in Parliament directing her to step down?

Wed May 10, 07:14:00 PM 2006  

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