Wednesday, May 25, 2011
The Real Illegitimacy of a Harper Government
By Robin Mathews
May 24, 2011
The Harper group is illegitmate as government, now, I believe, on the basis to two irrefutable facts. The Contempt of Parliament ruling against it invalidates candidates. And its illegal activities in election spending in the 2006 election, only now being exposed in court because of falsehoods and delaying tactics employed by Harper and the Conservative Machine, also invalidate it.
I wrote to and (earlier) posted here a complaint to the federal Chief Electoral Officer. I said that the finding by the House and naming by the Speaker of Mr. Harper and Conservative Members as being in Contempt of Parliament made Mr. Harper and the named Members (in my judgement) legally unable (as not legitimate) to run in the recent election.
I asked the Chief Electoral Officer to seek an interpretation of the relevant section(s) of the Elections Act from the Supreme Court of Canada (especially since no party before in history has been named in Contempt of Parliament) … and because the powers of Parliament are unique, special, and cannot be dismissed easily.
I was answered (May 16, 2011) by Ronald Lamothe, Investigator – to whom I had not addressed my letter. (Mr. Lamothe is one of those who engaged in the investigation which has brought the Conservative Party to court in relation to the In-and-Out Scandal.) He does not state that he is answering my letter on behalf of Marc Mayrand, Chief Electoral Officer. Mr. Lamothe informs me that the finding of Contempt “was against the government, and not any one individual. Furthermore, a motion of the House of Commons is neither a finding that a crime or offence has been committed, nor a finding of criminal guilt.”
Mr. Lamothe continues that the list of persons ineligible (under the Elections Act) to be a candidate “does not include anyone who was the subject of a finding of contempt of Parliament.” That finding, “therefore does not deprive anyone of their right to be a candidate in the federal election.”
The opinion expressed by Mr. Lamothe (using incorrect grammar) is precisely the one that I believe can ONLY be upheld or dismissed by a full review of the Elections Act by the Supreme Court of Canada. (The ruling by the Speaker of the House of Commons that the “government” was in Contempt of Parliament was not, as Mr. Lamothe calls it, a “motion”.)
In an almost precisely parallel instance, very recently, a higher court finding supports my request – in a finding over the long-dragging, Harperite, 2006 In-and-Out Election Scandal.
I will explain the In-and-Out Scandal in a moment, which, in itself, (in natural justice) invalidates the Harper group completely from holding Parliamentary positions.
Briefly – readers must know Opposition parliamentarians smelled a rat very early after the 2006 election. They began to investigate Conservative Machine spending, using the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics. The Harperite committee members and those called to witness did everything illegitimate they could to prevent an examination of Conservative Party electoral spending behaviour in the 2006 election – including ignoring subpoenas to appear issued by the Chair of the committee.
As a principal point, readers must observe that a major tactic of Harper’s operation is to breach trust, to violate procedure, to circulate falsehoods, and to abuse traditional practice – in short, to undertake immoral (and illegal actions) that he believes cannot be challenged successfully in law.
That explains why Elections Canada did not act until 2008 when court action against the Conservative Party was undertaken by the Director of Public Prosecutions. Since 2008, the Harper Machine has used every shady and disreputable tactic possible to prevent the investigation from proceeding fairly. In fact, its refusal to surrender records of the 2006 election forced the RCMP to raid Conservative offices to obtain information.
Before a Federal Court, the Harper lawyers argued, in short, that Elections Canada is there to receive and acknowledge receipt of election-spending records, NOT to assess them for legitimacy or to investigate their lawfulness! The presiding judge decided more investigation was needed, and he stopped the action for a time. He DID NOT side with the Conservative Machine argument. His finding was appealed, and the appeal judge(s) declared, in effect, that the relevant clauses of the Election Act would be meaningless if Elections Canada were unable to proceed from receipt of records to the assessment of their legitimacy and to remedial action if they were deemed illegitimate.
My exchange with Ronald Lamothe is a parallel case. I asked the Chief Electoral Officer to request a review by the Supreme Court of Canada of the relevant sections of the Elections Act to find the powers of Parliament in regard to them and the full meaning of a finding of Contempt of Parliament in relation to the Elections Act. Mr. Lamothe writes that – in effect – there is nothing in the Act which provides for application of Contempt of Parliament to Members of Parliament named in Contempt – in relation to their legitimacy, thereafter, as candidates in an election.
That would mean – as in the other example in which the Conservatives argued the Act gives no further powers than to record receipt of reports – that a ruling of Contempt of Parliament against a Party and/or its members is meaningless, that it carries no power to punish, that it exists without relevance to those it condemns.
That is simply not believable.
And so I reject the opinion of Ronald Lamothe. I continue to hold that the ruling of Contempt of Parliament against the Conservative parliamentarians is meaningful, carries power, is relevant – and may well invalidate them from running as candidates in an election for a period of (at least) five years. Only a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada will solve the difference of interpretation.
In brief, the In-and-Out Scandal is about – to use the words of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the fact that “the Conservatives willfully exceeded the elections expense limit”, thereby seeking unfair advantage in the 2006 election (and, probably, gaining from it).
They attempted, moreover, to claim as election spending in those constituencies the monies sent to them for only a few hours before being sent back. And they set out to claim rebates on the money that came in-and-out in each of something like 67 or 68 ridings.
Think of that. These are the allegations: Harperites shipped into each of some 67 or 68 constituencies tens of thousands of dollars – for only a few hours, after which the money was returned. THEN it was siphoned off to OVERSPEND in tight constituency races.
During the few hours the tens of thousands of dollars were sitting in constituencies, they were added. in those constituencies, to “monies raised” there, AND EACH candidate applied to have you and me (Canadian taxpayers) reimburse them for the money falsely claimed to have been raised in the constituency.
Each of the Harper candidates in those ridings broke the law. Each must be held responsible for assisting in violation of the Elections Act.
Four or five of the Harper candidates refused to take part. One of them, in Ontario, reports he believed the matter illegal from the start, and he praised the court action against the Conservative Machine. One is the famous Helena Guergis, thrust out of cabinet and caucus by Stephen Harper. She refused to go along.
Was that at least part of the reason Stephen Harper threw her to the wolves?
The key fact (for Canadians) in relation to the alleged infractions of the Elections Act in 2006 is that the Breach of Trust by the Conservative Machine is so serious that the Party cannot claim to be a legitimate government. The wrong-doing in 2006 continues as a factor in everything the Conservative Machine has done since. It cannot have cheated to its advantage, used the advantage, and then pretend that its present situation is not a product of that action – which I am confident the courts will find to be fraud.
One of the charges is that the fundraising arm of the Conservative Party reported material “that they knew or ought reasonably to have known contained a materially false or misleading statement, namely that all election expenses in respect to the 39th federal general election had been properly recorded.”
Shadow-boxing, misleading the public, claiming false things, the Harper group has soiled the whole process of democratic procedure in Canada. The Scandal does not – as Stephen Harper and his group have claimed – relate to an “accounting dispute”, is not about “administrative charges’. The court did not rule in favour of the Conservative Party when it upheld the argument that the Elections Act restricted investigation – in fact, it called for more investigation.
The Chief Electoral Officer, Marc Mayrand, didn’t lay charges against the Conservative party – the Director of Public Prosecutions did after examining evidence produced by the Commissioner of Canada Elections.
Other parties – as constantly claimed by Stephen Harper’s spokespeople - did not engage in the same activities. That is a lie.
One of many.
Wading through the fog of false Conservative Machine claims only makes more and more clear the willingness of Harper and his group to destroy democracy in Canada. In the process, I believe, they have so violated law and process that they no longer possess legitimacy as parliamentarians. I believe, moreover, that Canadians must – in an overwhelming majority – come to that conclusion.
Beyond the Border Working Group.
It would seem to me that the proposed "perimeter security pact with the United States" is already a done deal and that the consultation process is a farce and charade. This has been tried before under different names - but this "deep integration" is nothing less than a betrayal of national interests that makes Canada a less sovereign state and very much a more dependent satellite territory - much like Puerto Rico. The United States can take what it wants - mostly in terms of precious resources such as water and energy - hydroelectric and fossil fuel resources - and Canada will have to take what is offered in terms of control by Washington and dictated by a subservient administrative government in Ottawa.
The public consultation process is a sham - we know that already special access and privilege has been accorded to private corporate interests in drafting this agreement. As this agreement is basically a constitutional issue - as it changes our parliamentary democracy and the sovereignty of the country, a true public inquiry is needed which would allow input in a real way from all sectors of the Canadian population. As with all constitutional issues the provinces would need to unanimously agree on these fundamental changes. It would appear that the Harper government has no intention to bring this before the public to let the real "commons" - the people - know what is being projected.
Is economic prosperity the real goal? NAFTA has failed to bring prosperity to Canada. The dispute mechanisms within NAFTA have been conceded by the Canadian government even when rulings continuously favored Canada. The soft wood lumber dispute is a key example of where prosperity is defined south of the 49th parallel and any errors in previous trade agreements which actually benefited Canada are corrected by subservient Canadian politicians only too eager to please their American masters. Canada is a country and it is supposedly negotiating an agreement with an empire - history only too clearly shows how that works out.
Why is there a need for a security perimeter? This is talk that better typifies the cold war of the 1950's. Where is the problem today? There is no threat from the north and indeed nothing from the east or west. The only threat to Canadian sovereignty comes from the south - from the United States of America. This is a country that is unable to provide for its own citizens. It is a country drunk on its own need to consume but unable to provide all that it wants to consume. The south-west of the USA has developed in unsustainable ways - they will shortly have major problems with water shortages. Rather than regulate their own consumption, and control the water merchants, they look enviously at Canadian water resources to the north to meet their future needs. This supposed " perimeter security pact " with the United States is no security for Canadians but rather an open door to the American culture to simply come and take what they want without regard for the people up north and the long term consequences of such unbridled consumption.
The United States as a country has reason to fear negative responses from many regions of the world. This fear is well deserved because of the actions of the US government and its military adventurism throughout the world. Canada until recent times has not earned this animosity of the world nations - although in recent years Canada's foreign policies are putting it out of step with most of the world. The Canadian response to the climate change crisis is typical of how Canada as a nation is out of step with the world. The promotion of the Alberta tar sands - with the accompanying disaster for the ecological well being of the whole Athabasca region flowing into the Arctic ocean and all the peoples living north of the tar sands exploitation - is a source of great embarrassment and concern. However it is not a concern for the United States as it gets a secure source of petroleum energy while Canada pays the price. Canada does not even get a fair price for its resource.
So where is the concern? Why does Canada need a security perimeter within US interests? This illustrates a major concern - that the political party which is now the Canadian government is actually funded and working on behalf of a foreign power. It negotiates an agreement that is not in Canadian best interests.
As with the Maher Arar scandal of a few years ago - we have seen that Canada is already co-operating too much with American "security" phobias much to the detriment of the interests and well being of Canadian citizens.
I protest the process with which this proposed perimeter security pact with the United States is being foisted upon Canada and its citizens. It is bad for Canada. It is bad for Canadians. It weakens our sovereign claims to our land, our resources and our heritage.
I denounce those who are intent on slipping this agreement through and suggest that they are not patriots nor true lovers of our nation. Vassal states have always had locals who are willing to sell out their neighbours for a slice of the pie. History has names for them. Future generations will only weep and be angry that this was allowed to happen.
Phillip P. Little
Harper to talk border security with Obama at G8
It is true ... shocking charges are uttered against prominent people ...
charges which would swiftly haul most citizens into a nearby courtroom to answer for their sins or even (gasp) to spend time behind bars contemplating their sins,
and yet, somehow since the Campbell era 2001 we have evolved a different point of view:
these days, it seems that it doesnt really matter if privileged people are operating illegally.
Is that peculiar, or what.
He wants to invalidate an elected official that we the people put in office because he isnt happy with the outcome and political stripe of the elected person.
This blog isnt and never was really about BVB, but about the deep rooted hatered by some against anything and anyone politically right of centre, execpt of course the poor, innocent "three brown men" who were shamelessly pursued by a racially motivated prosecution, for them there is empathy and an open ear. For everyone else, intolerance and narrow mindedness.
When does the idiocy ever stop? Suck it up Mathews, et al, the Conservatives are going to do as they like for the next 4 yrs becuase WE THE PEOPLE said so.
Campbell twice lied in two different elections, he cheated, lied, deceived to win. The American people said, Harper's election was rigged too. That one, I can believe. It doesn't matter where you go, everyone hates Harper. Campbell and Harper are, liars, deceivers, corrupt, arrogant, vindictive, use dirty tactics, thieves, fascists, dictators and, mentally unbalanced. When either of them think, they are opposed by anyone, they lose their jobs. That's their paranoia showing through. That's how Hitler and Stalin were
To Anonymous person at 6:24 a.m.,
Kindly show me where The Legislature Raids has dedicated itself to Basi, Virk, or Basi as you say here:
'This blog isnt and never was really about BVB, but about the deep rooted hatered by some against anything and anyone politically right of centre, execpt of course the poor, innocent "three brown men" who were shamelessly pursued by a racially motivated prosecution, for them there is empathy and an open ear. For everyone else, intolerance and narrow mindedness.'
Research, you silly man, depends upon lifting every rock and actually looking under it; good journalism depends upon a factual report on the life-forms hiding under the rocks.
You provide a good example of the narrow-minded idiocy you mention. Take the test yourself: tell us how you think legislation can be legitimate if it is enacted by a Parliament which itself stands formally charged with being in Contempt of Parliament. DECLARED and CHARGED. By the Speaker of the House.
Does it, in your estimation, mean absolutely nothing that the Harper Government was declared in Contempt of Parliament for the first time within the British Commonwealth. Or that Harper slithered out from under his rock to escape the penalty by means of a federal election. Fool, how do you, in your great wisdom, shrug that off.
I think that one of the most disagreeable flaws in Stephen Harper is his contempt for you as a voter. Harper is anti-democratic, depending upon ignorance to gain his goals. The man is using you. Clue.
Now lets get back to the main topic upon which this blog is and always has been focused:
BC RAIL AND HOW WE LOST IT.
remembering that while the people of British Columbia owned BC Rail it was a provincial railway; now under CN it is federally accountable. And we dont need another Head of State with the same questionable standards as Gordon Campbell had.
It took them many years, but the BC Teachers Federation won recent S.C.C. decisions against the BC Liberals for committing illegal acts against them. Perhaps the Federal Liberals can look to the International Labour Organization (ILO) for some assistance with finding arguments. After-all, the Conservatives spoiled the Liberals' working conditions, and the Liberals lost their jobs because of it. Perhaps the Liberals will want to begin supporting unions.
Typical - if you can't refute the facts then attack the messenger and/or medium. This is a tactic included in Harper's manual on how to disrupt or stall committee meetings, etc.
Societies have taken this road before before.
It starts within the very nature of democratic politics; which is the art of telling people what they want to hear, and then doing what’s expedient, according to the dictates of power and money. It all boils down to the art of doing the deal. Deals are accomplished through compromise. It’s quid pro quo.
Then ‘the devil' starts appearing in the details’ and of what constitutes the deal. Now as we all know--details require lawyers. And the job of a lawyer is to find the loopholes and exceptions to the law, so that the law can be bent to accommodate the needs of the deal. Eventually, the law no longer operates according to its original tenets of what is right and just; and the only place it applies is to the living conditions of those too poor to afford lawyers, at the whim of those who can.
Corruption becomes the rotten fruit of these politics and eventually the system starts to wither on the branch, the tree being strangled to death by the elite and their entangling knots of self-interest, at the expense of the public interest.
Sooner or later all of the wealth and power winds up in the hands of those most lacking in conscience and restraint. Eventually, raw power and war-making become the driving forces of the economy; whereupon a state of fascism begins to emerge in order to stifle protest at the perversion of justice and whatever virtues the original system founded its operations upon.
You can tell the state of a nation by the way its police and judicial systems conduct themselves. The size of its prison system also foreshadows the direction downwards.
Campbell and the BC Liberals lack any conscience, what so ever. They still don't. They are just a low life lot of, thieves, liars, deceivers, and so corrupt, you can barely stand, the sight of their faces on TV.
Harper has a serious lack of conscience, and is very poor of character, as well. He has used so many dirty tactics. It floors me he has the gall to call himself a Christian. Harper is just as evil as his good buddy Campbell is. Harper, Campbell and Hansen, colluded on the HST, long before the BC election.
The American people, despise Harper. Harper can't get along with, any of the other country's. The American officials, call him a gasbag, and say he is petty. Harper is far too arrogant and stubborn to work with anybody. He has really embarrassed Canada. He reneges on his word.
Kick the entire Conservative government out of Parliament. They don't have the right, to even be there. We are fed up with, lying corrupt politicians.
As for BC Mary's comments to kindly show her where The Legislature Raids has dedicated itself to Basi, Virk, or Basi as you say, I only have to point out the numerous essays of Mathews that she and others have celebrated, even though many of them contain referrences to the prosecution being motivated by racisim. Sheer folly.
As for BC Mary's invitation tell how I think legislation can be legitimate if it is enacted by a Parliament which itself stands formally charged with being in Contempt of Parliament, thats an easy one.
The electorate decided to re-elect Harper. I trust the peoples' will more that I do the courts. Thats good enough for me. And will just have to be good enough for you becuase Harper is HERE FOR 4 YRS TO DO AS WE THE PEOPLE HAVE MANDATED HIM TO DO.
I hope he shuts down ALL the needle exchanges and brings back capital punishment!!
Seriously, I'm such a devotee of your insight. More please.
"...WE THE PEOPLE HAVE MANDATED HIM..."
Not quite 40% of the voting electorate voted for the Harper Conservatives. 60% voted against them - 40% is not truly a majority. 60% did NOT "mandate" the Harper government to do anything.
"I hope he shuts down ALL the needle exchanges and brings back capital punishment!!"
I feel sadly for you, Anon. What an unfortunate life to live without having compassion for others less fortunate than yourself or to be vengeful toward another whom you believe to have committed a heinous act. From where does your anger stem?
To me, Campbell, Hansen and Harper, have disgraced and fouled this country. They have ruined this country's good name. They are my choice, for the most corrupt and evil politicians, i have ever heard of.
Politicians are in the position of trust. Their duty is to care for the country, the provinces and the citizens. Instead of working with us, they work against us. They use every foul and disgusting dirty tactics in the book, to harm the people, and cheat their election wins.
Monsters such as, Harper, Campbell and Harper, should be tried for treason. Some years past, they would have been hung, for what they have done to this country.
Canada went to war, and our boys died to save this country from, such as, Campbell, Hansen and Harper.
Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin, were also dictators and tyrants, who fouled and destroyed their own people and their own country's. They will be, forever remembered and despised.
Gordon Campbell, Gary Collins, Judith Reid and the rest COULD HAVE HAD their day in court as well, in spite of the "disappeared" evidence. What did they have to fear? It isn't as if (in)Justice AnnieMac wouldn't have allowed them to be non-responsive or would have required them to honour their oath to tell the truth or anything?
You gotta be stoopid to not realize that you gotta have sins to hide to hide from such a rigged excuse for a trial.