Saturday, March 22, 2014

Further Analysis On Marc Nadon's Appointment

Marc Nadon is, for now at least, out of the picture as far as Canada's Supreme Court is concerned.

Frankly, I know very little about Justice Nadon's beliefs and history as a judge.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if he happened to lean towards Mr. Harper's "hang-em-high" approach to justice - generally speaking Harper is far more prone to basing his appointment decisions on ideology and politics than other Prime Ministers in our history.

However, the Supreme Court's ruling on Nadon's appointment is not about Mr. Nadon or Mr. Harper's views on justice.

The Supreme Court's ruling is very interesting as it went after many of the same issues that I suspect strongly affect Harper's desires to unilaterally amend the Senate.  In effect, in appointing Mr. Nadon, Harper was ignoring a set of rules that had been clearly established for over a century.
The government does not have the authority to amend the Act, wrote six of seven judges, saying "the unanimous consent of Parliament and all provincial legislatures is required for amendments to the Constitution relating to the 'composition of the Supreme Court.'"
Frankly, it comes to me as no great surprise that Mr. Harper and his gang are once again attempting to modify the structure of government without regard for the laws of Canada and the Constitution of this nation.  First, Harper is not a lawyer.  He never has been, nor has he shown any particular interest in coming to understand the finer points of law.

Second, and more concerning, is that Harper is an ideologue.  His government has repeatedly pushed through laws only to have them struck down by the Supreme Court time and again - often on Constitutional grounds.  He doesn't guide his ministers to legislate effectively and within the framework of Canada's legal systems, but rather is attempting to forge an entirely new system by writing tons of laws and hoping that they stick.

Fundamentally, he's using the same tactics that we see the far right in the United States using - throw tons of obviously ridiculous legislation into the system, and hope that enough manages to survive to fundamentally change the underlying structures beyond recognition.

At this point, I'm beginning to suspect that the first step in undoing the appalling damage that this government is doing to Canada and its legal systems is going to have to be an omnibus bill that rescinds 95% of the legislation pushed through since 2006.  Most of it is unconstitutional, and of the remainder, much of it is just plain cruel and punitive.

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