Walk a Kb or Two in my Moccasins- Nobody 'splained it to me like that!

Simple answers to Complex Questions and Complex Answers to Simple Questions. In real life, I'm a Greater-Toronto (Canada) Realtor with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd, Brokerage. I first joined RE/MAX in 1983 and was first Registered to Trade in Real Estate in Ontario in 1974. Formerly known as "Two-Finger Ramblings of a Forensic Acuitant turned Community Synthesizer"

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- Realtor (2nd or 3rd best you'll likely run into)
- Philosopher King of Real Estate Business in Ontario (self-assessed)
- Likes Public Policy & Governance Discussions
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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Accountable to the Crown - but who/what's that?

As demonstrated in today's Toronto Star article, Professor Lorne Sossin, Judge Gomery and virtually every other Canadian have missed (never looked for?,ed.) the root 'problem' with contemporary Canadian governance. Therefore their solutions and recommendations only treat the symptoms.

Canada 1867 was formed with 4 layers of constitutionally superior 'checks' built on top of the "democratic element" at the bottom of the political totem pole.
1)The Senate (representing the propertied class - why else do only Senators have a property-ownership & net-worth qualification) was a check on the tax and spend policies of the rabble in the Lower House.
2)The Governor General was entrusted with the right to grant, withhold or reserve Royal Assent 'as an individual' (as were the pre-1867 colonial governors).
The Governor General (a Brit appointed to run things locally) was given the right to appoint trusted locals to advise Him/Her, quite separately and apart from the locals who became Privy Counsellors ex-officio (by right of their offices as ministers).
3) The Privy Council had committees, appointed to oversee what the House & Senate were doing - the GG's Treasury Board held the purse strings, not the Finance dept. The Privy Council was separate and was (& is) superior to the Commons' Cabinet.
4)The Monarch-in-Council held the right to disallow any bill within 2yrs of its passage in Canada and the right to "do nothing" about a reserved bill.

Canada was never designed as a "democracy" where sovereignty was vested in the resident-subjects. Never designed to have the 'head' of the Commons run the whole show.
Canada was (and constitutionally still is) a top-down absolute Monarchy, with the Crown's powers delegated to the GG and constitutionally-limited only by the right 'to initiate legislation' granted to the Commons and Senate.
Every Act and act still requires approval of the GG. And every Act can still be disallowed by the Monarch (personally, since 1982, when the Brits legislated their House and Lords out of the power hierarchy)

Understanding the built-in checks and balances enables us to see that inflation has killed the Senate ($4,000 just ain't what it used to be in 1867) and see that the Privy Council is now just another arm of the Prime Minister's Office (but only since 1940, when Wm L M King merged the Clerk of the Privy Council position with the now-called Secretary to the Cabinet post).
The Governor General (and the as-an-individual powers to Assent/Withhold or Reserve powers) got lost a)when She/He no longer had independent advisors, b)the Privy Council became populated by the same folks holding the Cabinet posts the PC was supposed to supervise and 3) when MacKenzie King successfully lobbied to appoint local Canadians to the Vice-Regal post, whereby controlling that constitutionally-entrenched over-ride on his decisions and ambitions (see King-Byng affair).


The Monarch still holds sovereignty over Canada.
The Monarch still holds ultimate title to all lands in Canada (save Autochthonous Peoples lands not covered by Treaties) and Canadians enjoy but an "interest" in the land (fee simple vs. allodium).
The Monarch still can disallow any Bill passed (Queen Elizabeth legally could overturn the Same Sex Marriage Act with a stroke of Her pen anytime before July 2007, for example).
The Monarch IS Canada and the system of governance IS what's written in the 1867-1985 BNA Acts now-called the Constitution.


Under our current (purposeful, ed.) botch-up of the written provisions of 1867, the Holder of the Office of Prime Minister wields all the powers of the Monarch, the GG and the Privy Council - just like Wm Lyon Mackenzie King wanted.
Gomery could/should have recommended divorcing the Clerk of the Privy Council position from the Office of Secretary of the Cabinet, seasonally adjusting the $4,000 property qualification and net-worth provisions of the Senators and asked for a public re-Proclamation of the GG's 1947 Letters Patent.
Until an "Accountability Act" incorporates these changes, it WILL be "business as usual" with the inmates running the asylum and Canadians left scratching their heads about why government is so non-accountable to them.

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