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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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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to fix the Canadian Governance System - this election! "The Emperor's 2011 New Clothes".


Dear Taxpaying, Resident, Canadian Citizen,

I believe the as-written British North America/Constitution Act is the perfect system for governing Canada.

But unfortunately our politicians and public servants are not following its "as-written" provisions.

Here's a graphic to show what I mean:

             Military Comparison         I      BNA/Constitution 1867 
                                                               I
               Commander-in-Chief     I                    Governor General
                                                               I
                                                               I
                Generals                             I                     Privy Council
                                                               I
                                                               I
                Colonels                             I                     Senate
                                                               I
                                                               I
                Captains                             I                     Cabinet/P. M.'s Office
                                                               I
                                                               I
                Soldiers                              I                   Members of Parliament
                                                               I
                                                The Folks at home
     

As you can see the Chain of Command has become confused, cluttered and turned on it's head.

The way things are now a Captain is running almost everything because the Prime Minister (not in 1867 BNA/Constitution) has taken over the Generals' job (Privy Council) and the Commander-in-Chief (GG) dares not refuse any measure that Captain (who appointed him/her) proposes.

This down-is-hoisted-up and up-is-emasculated devolution of our as-written system completely defeats the checks and balances built into the system to prevent any one Officeholder from becoming too powerful.

The key to understanding how the "new" anti-constitutional system came to be is knowledge of the implications of one, wartime, Executive Order in Council (P.C. 1940-1121) that added extra, political duties to the responsibilities of the non-political Head of the Privy Council (the Clerk) and created a new position "Clerk of the Privy Council AND Secretary to the Cabinet". (link to PCO site)

This transformative decision was reached on March 25rd 1940, surprisingly soon after the death of Governor General Lord Tweedsmuir (Feb 11/1940) and the changes were in place prior to the arrival of Major General The Earl of Athlone (appointed June 2/1940) as Tweedsmuir's successor.

A point to note is that the PM of the day (Rt Hon Wm L M King) appointed his existing Principal Secretary to the "new" job. The result being that the whole, (intended to be non-political) civil service AND the Generals (Privy Council) became accountable to the all-political Captain (Prime Minister) instead of the Commander in Chief (Governor General).

I append the actual document below so you can read it yourself. Therein you'll see that the emergency that prompted this wholesale re-ordering of the power-sharing hierarchy and step-by-step, approval-protocol described in the BNA/Constitution was World War II.

In 1940 the country was totally committed to an all-out effort to mobilize Canada to save Britain, Europe and the free world  - this was accomplished virtually overnight and must be acknowledged as an unbelievable wonderful achievement, by Mr King, his 'Man of the Hour' C.D. Howe and the 'dollar-a-year' volunteers from industry and finance.

By reading the Order, you will also see that the Captain (PM King) approved the changes (that he himself proposed) in his capacity as President of the Privy Council.

For Pete's sake, what army has Captains telling the Generals what to do? and then allows those Captains to approve their own recommendations?

In my view, that terrifyingly-urgent emergency is long past.

Why can we not go back to the as-written provisions of the BNA/Constitution? (Otherwise, how can we possible know what rules we ARE following?)

Do we still want 'a Captain' holding ALL the reins of administration, the powers-to-advise AND the powers-to-decide?

Do we still want this when hard (politically unpopular) decisions need to be made?  (e.g. every single day since the time it became common knowledge that the Baby-Boom was over and therefore all the just-instituted, pay-as-you-go, social benefit programmes were unaffordably unsustainable).

If we go back to the as-written BNA/Constitution by rescinding this Order in Council, we'll be well-advised to make one more non-constitutional change. We should start holding elections at-large for the person to be recommended to the Monarch as OUR choice for Governor General.

With that popular mandate, our GG will be able to 'Just Say No' to some silly notion of a legislative Bill (or Order in Council) that the Captains-of-the-Day want to rush through to expand their power, award a friend or simply stay in office.

This election, ask your local Candidate if they support rescinding Order in Council PC 1940-1121, returning to the as-written Constitution and electing the Governor General?

If they don't know what you're talking about .... you'll know they're either "unpardonably stupid or unfit for their office" - H.C. Andersen "The Emperor's New Clothes".

Truly,
rce


Suggestion -- Elections for Governor General could be held every-other General Election, to select one person, for a single, two-Parliament term, starting 365 days after the Return of the Writs - a single transferable ballot is probably best - no need for runoff elections to get a winner.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Post Robert but my belief is that good governance means minimal governance in our lives. Lets model ourselves on the Swiss model with next to zero government.

Bill

6:55 pm  

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