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Friday, December 12, 2008

All the Talents Cabinet, rescind Order in Council PC 1940-1121 & Elect the Governor General

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle JeanGovernor General of Canada
Rideau Hall
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A1
Via Facsimile 613.993.1963; 613.998.8760; 613.993.1967;

December 12, 2008

Re: An All-the-Talents Solution to the Current Parliamentary Upheaval


Excellency,

Please pardon any breech of protocol or omissions of courtesy, I am a supporter of the Office of Governor General and further I believe Canada should be following the as-written text of the BNA/Constitution Act 1867. I have tried contacting you through the more-informal email facility, but to no avail, save polite auto-responses.

I see this Minority/Coalition situation as an opportunity to correct past mistakes and restore the as-written provisions of our Executive Power to practice. I have studied Canada’s constitutional evolution 1670-1763-1774-1791-1840-1867-et al-1982-todate as a personal quest that started with the formation of an official Referendum Committee in 1992.

I request an opportunity to explain the reasons for the outside-the-box suggestions I offer below and will make myself available to anyone within your Staff for this purpose.

I believe the Minority/Coalition situation has brought many Canadians to consider the role and responsibilities of the Office as they never have before. I am sure many have dug out their school books or acquired a copy of the Acts themselves – and a very few have visited my Plain Language Version of 1867 on my Blog http://robertede.blogspot.com/

With the greatest respect, I believe Canada has been granted a silver-lining opportunity to enact a solution that will:
a) restore the as-written, BNA1867, Executive Order of Government (as described ss9-16),
b) end the current partisan/personal game-playing,
c) punish the self-serving (but not too grievously),
and
d) reward everyone else (in ways far greater than they might have been expecting).


Firstly, may I suggest that Your Excellency as Governor General summon all, or some, or few, of your s.11 Queen’s Privy Council and review with them Order in Council P.C. 1940-1121 which merged the Office of Clerk with the Office of ~Secretary to the Cabinet~ . This was an initiative of the Rt Hon Wm L. M. King, it was wartime and it may have been a necessity or an efficiency then, but it has meant that the de jure Constitution varied from the de facto machinery of government.

The recent upshot of that action is that Mr Kevin Lynch was advising Mr Harper and not Your Excellency a week ago Thursday, even though the Privy Council is part of the Executive Power and not part of the Legislative Power.

Restoration of the Privy Council (and the appointments to its committees) to the control of Your Office will also relegate the government/cabinet-of-the-day members to a more reasonable role as “some” of the Crown’s Advisors and not “all” of them. The beauty of this is, that this monumental restoration of our intended and as-written checks and balances hierarchy will require the reversal/rescission of but one Order in Council.

The Privy Council of the Whole has only met for Royal Visits previously, however I feel the current situation is grave and therefore I suggest calling on their Institutional Memory and Experience for advice on this and three other ideas.


Secondly, in my view Mr Harper has offered self-serving, if not bad, Advice on two recent occasions, the dissolution-without-a-defeat recommendation provided an election that proved little outside the scope of most pundits’ and citizens’ anticipations.

To my mind, when he admitted that he could not continue to govern, an opposition coalition could have been offered by the PM (or anyone) as an option instead of an election - even if only to fulfill the 4th year of the fixed term specified in Mr Harper’s own 2007 changes to the Elections Act.

The prorogue-in-anticipation-of-a-defeat recommendation also qualifies, to my mind, as self-serving, if not bad, advice since the threat to the end of the PM’s mandate was hypothetical … the opposition might have cracked, MP’s might have abstained or been absent, a few might have been motivated to cross the floor … all kinds of other hypothetical events were possible and might have happened, if the Rt Hon Mr Harper had just been patient (and industrious behind the scenes) until the planned Monday Dec 8th vote.

In my opinion, either of these two pieces of Bad advice could constitute a reason to ask for Mr Harper’s personal resignation, but in the absence of a “better” person to pick up the torch in his place, in the interest of continuity and minimal disruption (and with a desire to make Mr Harper squirm in his seat a wee bit), may I suggest you consult with the Whole Privy Council about asking the Prime Minister to form an All The Talents Government? This is not unprecedented (both in the UK & in Canada) in time of war (1917),turmoil or great undertaking (1867).

May I suggest 48 members including Mr Harper (as casting-vote, in the event of a tie only, Chairperson) in an All-the-Brightest-and-Best Cabinet - 24 CPC (50%), 12 Liberal (25%), 8 NDP (15%) and 4 BQ (~10%) - This coalition of all parties represented in the Lower House is perhaps a way for us to muddle through the deepening, world-wide, economic/monetary debacle while having no one holding the ‘so-called balance of power’, no one free of responsibility and no one responsible beyond their electoral mandate.

May I suggest that these members should sit as a “Board of Directors”, all without a portfolio so they can consider every measure and every proposal (we have quite competent Deputies and Assistant Ministers to make the presentations) with identical objectivity, without favour or malice and may I further suggest that the Best & Brightest govern Canada until the October 2012 date set out in the Elections Act.


Thirdly, please look into revising-for-inflation the $4000.00 Net-Worth and Property-Ownership qualifications / disqualifications (ss.23&31) set out for our Upper House Members. I believe this is the only office in Canada to have a means-test and I believe it is the only dollar amount in all of Canada that has not been adjusted to reflect the effects of inflation.

Apparently 60-80 times would be accurate - making the $4000 into $240,000 to $320,000 for net-worth and free and clear property-ownership. Immediately, it is obvious to see the intention of the framers in establishing criteria for the type of individual they deemed suitable for the regionally-equal, taxpayer-of-the-time based, chamber in lieu of a House of Lords.


Fourth and finally, not every Canadian will agree with a Governor General imposing Her/His will upon elected Members, upon appointed Members, upon the as-we-know-it-since-1940 Privy Council and upon the Cabinet-as-we-know-it (particularly after such a long time) without broad consultation – to this end I hope the Privy Council of the Whole can furnish the required heft and depth to overcome any objections of “public legitimacy” during the short time available.

After considering that aspect, and to aid future Governor’s General in fulfilling their Letters Patent 1947 duties and Their BNA/Constitutionally-authorized responsibilities (s.12 vs. s.13, ss.55-57+90) may I suggest You ask the Privy Councillors to consider instituting election-at-large as the method of identifying the most suitable Canadian to be recommended to the Monarch as the next and all future Governors General.

My preference is for that person to be found by a popular election held simultaneous with every-other General Election, with the term of Office to start 365 days after the House returns (since any Citizen could run, many will do so, in anticipation of that, may I suggest use of a single-transferable ballot system -asking voters for their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc choices all at once. This would be the only way to get even a 50+1% result from a cast-one-ballot-on-one-day balloting procedure).

As I stated at the beginning, I hope to offer suggestions that will improve conditions for all and correct past mistakes beyond the knowledge or current care of some. Please allow me to help in any way.

With greatest respect,



Robert Ede

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