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Friday, December 31, 2010

The Governor General may 'dare to tread' wherever S/He wishes

From: Robert Ede <robertede@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 10:14 AM
Subject: The GG may 'dare to tread' wherever S/He wishes -- BNA/Constitution
To: nationalpost <letters@nationalpost.com>, "Letters (National Post)" <letters-2@nationalpost.com>
Cc: Governor General <Info@gg.ca>, Rt Hon Stephen Harper <pm@pm.gc.ca>

Perhaps you will see
an epiphany re:
the BNA's kind of GG.
 
 
Dear NatPost Editor, Ladies & Gentlemen of the Editorial Board,
 

Your Editorial Board's comments regarding the new GG's stated desire to influence policy demonstrate the Board members (& most Canadians) are forgetting that the Canadian governance model is "similar in principle" to the UK (of 1867) and by that very definition, not identical or 'the same'.

HRH Elizabeth II has defined her role in the UK as "to be consulted, to encourage & to warn" in alignment with their system of (actual) Ministerial Responsibility, where the Monarch is held faultless and any reversals or errors in policy are atoned for by the resignation of the "recommending" ministry/minister.

In Canada, it's quite different, albeit 'similar', the Monarch**, the Governor General and Privy Council are the Executive Power (BNA ss.9-13), the Upper & Lower Houses are merely the patrician and plebeian arms of the Legislative Power
 
**In 1867 (and now) the Privy Council of the UK (styled as Monarch-in-Council) exercises all the powers of the Monarch in their country ....  but since 1982, the Queen-of-Canada is no longer bound to be 'in-council' by virtue of the Canada Act 1982, (U.K.) 1982, c. 11. (Endnote #80)  NB. appreciating this aspect is key to the difference between the "similarities" and to understanding the thrust of this letter.**

The as-written BNA explicitly describes the Monarch's veto over all Canadian Acts (Disallowance + the Signification of Reserved Bills) and the Governor General's powers (as an individual, and/or with Advice and/or Consent s.12 vs s.13 ) to Withhold or Reserve Royal Assent in ss. 55-57 and further the Lt Governors' powers to Withhold or Reserve Assent on provincial Bills plus the GG-in-Council's power to Disallow any provincial bills and signify any Reserved provincial Bills(s.90).
 
So, the question is NOT the new Vice-Regal's openly-declared feistiness, but the public (and pundits') lack of knowledge on the prescient design of Canada's hierarchical system of checks and balances.
 
IMHO, Canada's much-discussed 'Democratic Deficit' is actually a "Popular-Sovereignty Deficit" based on the fact that we are NOT FOLLOWING the provisions of our as-written Constitution. Our blithe indifference-towards this blatant defiance of the highest law and our apparent lack of engagement regarding the political process is based on not-knowing what we don't-know!
 
After years of being conditioned to be benign(ly) neglect(ful) and we just continue to put up with this constitutional non-compliance.
 
We don't even bother to search for the root of the problem .... even when it's right under our noses.
 
And when some "nobody" points it out .... we ignore them - since no one "important" is kicking up a stink about it.
 
Perhaps you will see
an epiphany re:
the BNA's kind of GG.
 
Endorsement by thee
just might possibly
save more 'lectoral mis'ry
 
 Similarly, on your point about "turf treading":

Our Constitutional Monarchy system does indeed have an elected ('democratic') element, the purposely-termed, Lower House (notwithstanding frequent gerrymanderish and preferential amendments to the ss.51-52 on representation districts), but the s.17 composition of our 'One Parliament' includes the Monarch and the Upper House.

Therefore, contrary to your Board's heartfelt cautions regarding the GG overstepping His mandate and regardless of the wide-spread nescience concerning the as-written provisions for the operation of the ConFederal government, the Governor General can (and should) tread wherever S/He wishes.

If you accept this information about the as-written mandate of the GG as true, then we need to change our thinking about "who" could/should be selected as the Recommendation to the Queen for Governor General and "how" to select the person to be recommended.
 
My choice?
- -Elect-at-Large the GG simultaneous with every-other General Election, with a term starting 365 days after the return of the Writs. Whoever wins is the recommendation.
 
In addition, the 'Kick-off' of initial GG election campaign and every subsequent GG investiture should include a public reading of the applicable provisions of the BNA/Constitution Acts and the Letters Patent of 1947.
 
Giving the GG a public mandate and the largest constituency in the land will re-establish the original BNA pecking order without changing one piece of letterhead nor one word of the Constitution(s).

Soon thereafter, I'm confident the Rt Hon Wn L M King's Order in Council P.C. 1940-1121 will be rescinded ('twas craftily enacted between the death & and arrival of GG's in 1940) and the Privy Council can be restored to the Executive Power and the Lower House's Leaders and members can go back to being an assembly of popular representatives making and debating recommendations on behalf of their constituents, without all the limiting bother of party-discipline and constant party-re-election financing considerations.

Perhaps too the never-adjusted $4,000.00 property-ownership and net-worth qualifications/disqualifications for Senators (s.23 & 31)can finally be adjusted-for-inflation (the only Dollar amount in Canada never so-adjusted) ... thus re-establishing the Upper House's original role as representatives of the taxpaying-class and restoring its mandate to give fiscal second-thought to the vote-buying bread & circuses proposals of the always-up-for-re-election bunch.

I blame no one for not-knowing these facts.... except our teachers and those who instructed these teachers what not to teach.

May it be a Happy  (and epiphanous) New Year
 
rce
 
 
Plain Language (annotated) BNA/Constitution Act
 

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