ENGLISH LEADERSHIP DEBATE #2

Watching the English language federal leadership debate tonight was about as exciting as watching paint dry, although I’m not really complaining because it did have some worth.

For the most part, the debate was a mirror image of previous ones, with the party line ruling most of the answers. The one thing that I noticed tonight was that when a question was asked, once again, Mr. Martin would simply repeat the same old lines that he has used for 18 months, and did not, could not, or would not come out and answer the questions that he was asked.

Also, when the moderator asked a question, the person that was asked the question would respond, and then the other three leaders would have a chance to rebut him. It is amazing to watch as the question is passed on how far that the other three would wander into political rhetoric. It was like that old game where you whisper something down a line to see how far from the original line you will be by the time you get to the end. After the person to whom the question was asked responded, the other leaders would go off on a day trip, talking about things that had nothing to do with the original question. It was very enlightening, and a little funny, as well.

The Prime Minister did say something that hit me up side the head. I wasn’t ready for it, because I was almost asleep. In discussing the notwithstanding clause, Mr. Martin stated that he would pursue a constitutional amendment to remove it. This must never happen. The notwithstanding clause is a safeguard. It is there to provide a means of overturning a bad supreme court decision. Anyone who has ever been involved in our justice system can appreciate that.

Mr. Martin also stated that we must ensure that legislators will never be able to overturn the courts. My internal alarm bells began to sound at this point. For those of you who do not have a masters in history, pay close attention to the next few lines.

Our government was formed to serve the people, not for the people to serve the government. To ensure this, it was decided by people smarter and wiser than us that the people who draw up the legislation to govern the nation and its leaders and its people will be chosen from among the people for the people. If they enact legislation that is against the values of the people, the people simply need not re-elect them. They can then elect men and women who hold the same values and will enact legislation that reflects that.

Our supreme court justices are NOT elected. They are appointed. They are appointed by prime ministers. They have an enormous amount of power, and by having the power to appoint them, (without opposition I may add), a prime minister can wield influence over a nation long after they have been turfed from office. There is no way that so few Canadians should have the power to usurp the will of the people. Unfortunately for us, they presently do. To remove the only legal recourse that we have against judicial tyranny is not only unwise and irresponsible, it is shortsighted and extremely dangerous. I now have a new question for Mr. Martin.

Just what is the Liberal’s hidden agenda? I have disliked the leader of the federal Liberal Party for some time now, I admit that openly, but this is the first time he has truly scared me.