Monday, January 09, 2006

Breaking: Paul Martin promises to eliminate the notwithstanding clause

During tonight's debate, Paul Martin unveiled his intention to introduce a constitutional amendment to eliminate the constitutional override clause.

To me, this is the best promise unveiled in the entire campaign. The first time I heard about the clause in Law class several years ago, I was outraged. I'm very excited at the opportunity to get rid of it. I now have a real reason to mark my ballot "Liberal". I was leaning NDP to be honest, but this just seals the deal.

11 Comments:

At 1/09/2006 9:30 PM, Blogger Mark Francis said...

I hate the thing too, but another Meech Lake isn't in the cards.

 
At 1/09/2006 10:46 PM, Blogger OttawaCon said...

SO I guess that Chaouilli decision will stand....

 
At 1/09/2006 10:59 PM, Blogger Tytheoneincomedad said...

So, the PMO is at it again. we already have FEW checks and balances in our government system and your all happy to give another one up. The PM ALONE appoints the judges and now we will have no way to keep them in check. Do you want a democracy or a dictatorship?

 
At 1/09/2006 11:56 PM, Blogger CanadianTruth said...

Removing the notwithstanding clause frightens me and just might show the Liberal's true agenda, to slowly turn Canada into a dictatorship. Paul Martin as Prime Minister wants the Power to Appoint a Supreme Authority in the land - free of parliamentary approval - that cannot be overruled by parliament.

 
At 1/10/2006 12:08 AM, Blogger Clear Grit said...

I want a constitutional democracy where the parliament has no choice but to abide by the constitution. Being able to override the constitution by simple majority vote is something that no other modern country has, and it is an embarassment.

Smears that the Liberals want to turn Canada into a dictatorship are just that - smears, and they are disgusting ones at that. Dictatorships are responsible for some of the worst and most grievous human rights abuses in history. So, just as I condemned Jean Lapierre for calling Gilles Duceppe a Nazi, I condemn each person who is making such outrageous, sickening, and quite frankly uneducated claims. There are lines in civil debate that you do not cross, and comparing people to mass-murderers is one of them.

 
At 1/10/2006 12:36 AM, Blogger CanadianTruth said...

Sorry, don't know what else to call it when the government has the supreme authority of rule that trumps democracy. Got another word?

And Martin himself said he'd use the notwithstanding clause to protect churches from having to perform gay marriages.

There are instances when it could be used to protect the rights of many over the few. Even Layton said he'd use it if the courts decided that people should have the right to private healthcare.

Look at this objectively, at least in the States they have elected -- not appointed -- judges.

This is a system without any mechanism to protect Canadians from the government.

It is downright scary!!!

 
At 1/10/2006 1:09 AM, Blogger Clear Grit said...

"Sorry, don't know what else to call it when the government has the supreme authority of rule that trumps democracy. Got another word?"

That is a dictatorship, but Canada is a democracy, and unless the Liberals burn down parliament and declare an end to elections, your charges are hyperbolic, false, malicious and shameful.

"And Martin himself said he'd use the notwithstanding clause to protect churches from having to perform gay marriages."

It was unnecessary; religious freedoms are guaranteed by the Charter, a Charter that the government should not be able to override by mere majority vote. What if 50% of the people thought that the government should force churches to perform gay marriages. Would you want them able to do that?

"There are instances when it could be used to protect the rights of many over the few."

The point of a charter of rights is to protect the rights of the few over the many; the many have parliament to work their will, all the minorities have is the Charter.

"Even Layton said he'd use it if the courts decided that people should have the right to private healthcare."

I don't wanna say Layton doesn't matter, but...

"Look at this objectively, at least in the States they have elected -- not appointed -- judges."

Actually, the Supreme Court is appointed.

As for their elected judges... what's the point of that? Judges are not politicians, or at least they shouldn't be. The job of judge should not be a popularity contest, it should be based on competence.

"This is a system without any mechanism to protect Canadians from the government."

It's called voting. If that's not good enough for you, declare anarchism - that'll protect you from the government! But who will protect you from everyone else?

 
At 1/10/2006 3:44 AM, Blogger RJL said...

This is a big announcement until you look at the scoreboard: how many promises have the Liberals kept, and how many have they broken?

Just a desperate politician trying to get votes...

 
At 1/10/2006 8:13 AM, Blogger ToryHitman said...

God, I can't believe you people. You make me laugh. Removing the notwithstanding clause shows that Paul Martin is the one to be feared. Regardless of whether you agree with his statement that he would use it to protect religious groups, he obviously thought it was a good idea then. You people actually support this claptrap? It appears as though it's your hidden agenda Canadians need to fear. First of all, we've had enough constitutional debates to last us a while. I think this is really confusing the REAL issues out there and was used as a diversion.

Secondly, for a system that was transformed from a parliamentary democracy into a constitutional democracy without checks and balances needs to be left alone. I will NOT leave the decisions of the country up to an UNELECTED Supreme Court. I don't mean to invoke Godwin's Law, but it's very similar. Judges appointed by the Prime Minister have no business being unaccountable and supreme dicators of the country. I'm sorry, this is ridiculously totalitarian, and it makes the need for parliament useless. This is scary, scary business.

 
At 1/10/2006 9:04 AM, Blogger CanadianTruth said...

"That is a dictatorship, but Canada is a democracy, and unless the Liberals burn down parliament and declare an end to elections, your charges are hyperbolic, false, malicious and shameful."

This move would in fact give them the absolute power to do so. The only sameful thing is defending this trampling of Canadian rights.

"It was unnecessary; religious freedoms are guaranteed by the Charter, a Charter that the government should not be able to override by mere majority vote. What if 50% of the people thought that the government should force churches to perform gay marriages. Would you want them able to do that?"

Follow the bouncing ball here. The courts decide that SSM is a right, that's fine (I actually agree with it). What if the courts rule that the rights of SSM trumps the rights of the church to not perform SSM? There would be no check and bounce left to protect the church. And I repeat, Paul Martin felt it neccessary to say that he would protect the churches using the notwithstanding clause.

"The point of a charter of rights is to protect the rights of the few over the many; the many have parliament to work their will, all the minorities have is the Charter."

There are exceptions to every rule. What about the rights of Children vs the rights of pedophiles? If you were listening to CPAC last night there was a woman who called saying that this would drastically weaken child rights that they are working on. What about reverse onus? Is that not putting the rights of themany over the few? Just more Liberal hypocricy.

"I don't wanna say Layton doesn't matter, but..."
See that's where we differ, all Canadians matter, not just the Liberals.

"Actually, the Supreme Court is appointed."
You'd better check on that. The President makes a nomination and then the Senate (a group of elected officials) must "advise and give consent". This is fairly democratic way of doing it. Under this proposed ban, the PMO would have absolute supremacy.

"As for their elected judges... what's the point of that? Judges are not politicians, or at least they shouldn't be. The job of judge should not be a popularity contest, it should be based on competence."
The vote could be done by members of the house or senate. Not appointed by the PMO.

"It's called voting. If that's not good enough for you, declare anarchism - that'll protect you from the government! But who will protect you from everyone else?"
As long as we still have that right.

 
At 1/10/2006 9:09 AM, Blogger ToryHitman said...

"I must be honest and say that I don't fear the notwithstanding clause very much. It can be abused as anything can, but the history of the Canadian Bill of Rights Diefenbaker had adopted in 1960, it has a notwithstanding clause and it hasn't caused any great scandal [sic]. So I don't think the notwithstanding clause deters very significantly from the excellence of the Charter."

"...it is a way that the legislatures, federal and provincial, have of ensuring that the last word is held by the elected representatives of the people rather than by the courts."

- Pierre Elliott Trudeau
from the Parliamentary Archives
http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/PRBpubs/bp194-e.htm

So who's the liar? Pierre Trudeau or Paul Martin? Check the link, too. It'll shed some light on the issue.

 

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