Sunday, 29 April 2012

30 years into the Canadian Constitution

I must say that - disregarding the contentious technical issues and political/ideological details for the moment - I'm quite disappointed (though not surprised) in the way our fascist government has treated the 30th anniversary of the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Firstly, I think it is the failure of all the political parties involved and not the idea/system itself that the amending formula and Quebec whereats debacle has never really been resolved and, therefore, the repatriation has never been ratified by all parties and jurisdictions of Canada; secondly, this imperfect yet hitherto stable political environment speaks volumes of the validity and success of the Constitution and the Charter with Canadians (ie, not the political parties) over the last 30 years. It says more about the partisan politics (which increasingly does not allow voting by conscience) than anything else.

Thomas Paine wrote that

'A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only the creature of the constitution' (p. 122, Thomas Paine, Rights of Man; Common Sense; and other political writings (Oxford University Press))

which I totally believe to be the case. And, why I think Harper's government is acting the way it is with respect to the 30th anniversary. Harper definitely to wants to be able to limit the Charter and believes the democratic system itself is antithetical to corporate interests (ostensibly, because the supreme court welds too much power). - the Supreme Court of Canada acts in the absence of ratification, and nothing else. If the sad dog will not wag its tail Harper would wag the dog. In fact, he thrives in this environment of uncertainty.

Paine also wrote that

'The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a [free person] to a state of slavery, for slavery consists of being subject to the will of another...' (p. 398, ibid)

To wit: Harper tried to sue the Elections Act to put in the right for third party advertising (as a National Citizens' Coalition leader) because it'd free up corporate funding for American-style superpac negative attack ads (which are extremely successful in creating apathy and disgust in the electorate which he has always relied on to get elected in).

In his political career, he has always acted the psychopath, and like a serial killer of democratic processes, he has tried many things looking for the right release. His mastery of double-speak suggests it is in his interest to deny the informal validity of the Charter and the Constitution for Canadians (ie, to portray important court decisions stemming from the Charter as "unconstitutional" and "undemocratic").

Jay

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