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Alleged PMO obstruction in SNC Lavalin case

Oldgateboatdriver

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Yes, Rifleman. That is one of the ways political parties (by which I mean the permanent direction of the parties who are full time politicos who run the show) have usurped the powers of Parliament, and of their own party members for that matter.

It's not in the constitution, which does not mention political parties anywhere, that you find the power to endorse candidates for an election.

That power, which originally rested with the actual riding associations holding a local nomination, was first moved to the central party - but upon nomination by local riding associations. Then, in 2000, under the guise of the creation in the Electoral Act of "official" parties (before this vocab. was introduced to the Act, anyone could claim to be a political party and act as such) recognition, the central party took the various riding associations power away from them by using the power they enshrined in Art 406 (2) of the Act to declare to the Chief Electoral Officer, within ten days of issuance of the writs, the identity of the person (usually the Leader) who can endorse the prospective candidates of the "official" party.

When that happened, we took the last step in moving from political parties being loose associations of like minded (from a political philosophy point of view) candidates sharing some financing machine for their local electoral needs to a centralized small cadre of politicos running a centralized machine with the sole objective not of watching and controlling the government, but of becoming the government at the expense of Parliament - now to be composed of automatons doing the government's biding instead of keeping it in check. That, BTW, is also why the job of M.P., if you don't get selected to be a minister, is getting so little regards from Canadian at this point in time. There was a lot more respect for ordinary M.P.'s up to the 70's when they were doing their proper job. That is the reason why it is also held in higher esteem in the US, where they don't expect to become part of the Government (the Executive).

It could still be reversed in Canada, but it would need the concerted effort of the M.P.'s who are not member of the actual government - even if from the "governing" party.

My personal view: to paraphrase a near closing dictum from the movie The Hunt for Red October, "A little Rebellion from time to time is not necessarily a bad thing".


 

brihard

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Actually, Brihard, there is no such thing in Canada as a "elected majority government".

First in the history of Canada we have elected exactly ZERO "governments". Our government is a monarchy run hereditarily by the Queen. She appoints a Prime Minister who then selects his/her cabinet. There are no obligation whatsoever that the member of the Cabinet come from  Parliament. The only requirement is that the P.M. have and retain the confidence of the elected members of Parliament.

The job of the elected members of Parliament is to actually act as the People's representative to control government - particularly spending by the government - through legislation. Since only the P.M. and the Ministers (and I guess ministers of state and Parliamentary secretaries) form the Government, and none of the backbenchers are part of the government regardless of their political affiliation, there is no such thing as voters deciding on confidence in the P.M. and his government. The matter belongs exclusively to the elected members of Parliament, even today.

This is the very basis of Responsible Government, Westminster style, we Canadians have been gifted with as a result of Lord Durham's work. Unfortunately, the "Government" has fought back to get back apparently unlimited power, by eviscerating the powers of Parliament over the decades, particularly since the 1960's and with major gutting since the 1990's. The result is that the PMO's now believes itself unrestricted in all it does and runs roughshod over the other Ministers and Parliament as if they were mere mouthpieces.

That, BTW, is how we got where we are in this very matter. And don't believe for one moment that  threatening demotion of Ministers or of sending ordinary M.P.s of one's own political party out of valuable Committees of Parliament is NOT in the PMO's arsenal to keep everyone in line.

And Milnews, I believe that the site from the Parliament of Canada you cite, is wrong: Political parties are private organizations that have no actual existence under our constitution. The Queen, and her representative, can select anyone at all in Canada, elected or not, to form a government (BTW, it happened twice to Christie Clark in B.-C.). She is not limited in any way in who she choses to form a government. It is by tradition only that she usually (as indicated before) choses the elected leader of the party with the most seats in Parliament - simply because there is a presumption that such leader starts by having the confidence of those elected members of his/her party. It doesn't have to last: see all the changes of leaders in London, Canberra or Auckland originating in caucus.

You’re being pedantic for the sake of being pedantic. What I was said was substantially correct in the context I was speaking about. Given that much of our system of government functions according to well entrenched and understood conventions, it is correct to say that we essentially elect our governments- that’s what happen when we hand a party the majority of seats in Parliament. We do not pick the ministers at the polls, but then that’s not what I was talking about- I was referring to the GG’s role in dissolving Parliament, and why doing so in the leadup to an election would not be necessary in these circumstances, nor particularly appropriate.
 

Loachman

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https://www.abbynews.com/news/wilson-raybould-testimony-sour-grapes-abbotsf0rd-area-mp-says/

UPDATE: Abbotsford-area MP apologizes for 'inappropriate' comments

Jati Sidhu had suggested that Jody Wilson-Raybould's father was 'pulling the strings'

Tyler Olsen Feb. 28, 2019 10:36 a.m.

Abbotsford-area MP Jati Sidhu apologized in the House of Commons Thursday just hours after he told The News that the former attorney general wasn't "a team player" (A good thing, in this case, and which has garnered so much respected from the general public - Loachman) and that her father may be "pulling the strings."

In an interview with The News Thursday morning, Sidhu had dismissed Wednesday's explosive testimony by Jody Wilson-Raybould as "sour grapes," and said her discomfort with what she described as political interference in a legal decision was the result of a lack of experience.

Sidhu's comments had drawn criticism from political opponents and observers from across the country, with both NDP and Conservative MPs calling them "misogynistic." Less than three hours after speaking to The News, Sidhu apologized for his comments as Question Period drew to a close.

<snip>

But Sidhu, the first-term (Just like she is, yet he still criticized her experience level - Loachman) Liberal MP representing the sprawling Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding, said he didn't find Wilson-Raybould's words to be alarming. Sidhu said the discussions about prosecuting SNC-Lavalin were "normal."

"It's a discussion: they do it every day, every time," he said.

Sidhu repeatedly said that if Wilson-Raybould was unhappy, she should have resigned immediately. He chalked up her discomfort to "a lack of experience," and said she’s not "a team player."

"The way she's acting, I think she couldn’t handle the stress," he said. "I think there’s somebody else behind – maybe her father – pulling the strings."

<snip>
 

Kirkhill

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Rifleman62 said:
The leader of the party approves (controls) their nomination to run for Parliament. Unless a whole passel do so, and are successful, their career as a politician is over. If they are in first term, without re-election - no pension.

Rifleman - it doesn't have to be that way.  OGBD is right.

Both the British PM (Theresa May) and the Leader of the Opposition (Jeremy Corbyn) are both running scared just now because they do not command the full support of their parties in the House, let alone commanding the House. Things are dire enough for May that she has apparently had to promise to quit as leader as soon as she successfully completes Brexit on 29 March.  Failure to complete Brexit will mean she is pushed rather than being allowed to jump.

There is nothing in parliamentary rules preventing the House finding a new Prime Minister without needing to have a general election - in London or Ottawa.
 

Brad Sallows

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Once a decision is made, anything done to re-open the discussion is a form of "pressure".  Many people, to their rapidly evolving regret, don't seem to understand that or understand why they can't just explain it away by replacing "pressure" with some other word.

I eagerly anticipate the performances of all the persons closely involved who don't realize that now is an excellent time to limit their self-inflicted damage by saying as little as possible.
 

Kat Stevens

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These guys could make a killing in Ottawa, best legal advice ever.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7ADIWeDMgQ
 

SeaKingTacco

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Brad Sallows said:
Once a decision is made, anything done to re-open the discussion is a form of "pressure".  Many people, to their rapidly evolving regret, don't seem to understand that or understand why they can't just explain it away by replacing "pressure" with some other word.

I eagerly anticipate the performances of all the persons closely involved who don't realize that now is an excellent time to limit their self-inflicted damage by saying as little as possible.

I also find it ironic that many of the very same people who loudly decry the many moral and ethical lapses of the President to the south, cannot seem to recognize or even defend similar behaviour in our own Prime Minister.
 

Cloud Cover

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Sir_Spams_a_lot said:
These guys could make a killing in Ottawa, best legal advice ever.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7ADIWeDMgQ

Priceless.
 

Jarnhamar

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JesseWZ said:
I don't necessarily agree. Now that this issue is in the open, there will be a veritable feeding fest as media dials up every source they have in the government looking for additional tidbits, other allegations of corruption, anything they can even remotely connect to this issue (think VAdm Norman, etc).

Now that it's out in the open? Perhaps.

I can still see the media doing a tight wire walk between covering this story, looking for more dirt/leads etc.. and pulling their punches not wanting to get on the Liberals bad side should this whole thing blow over.

Damage control, risk assessment, whatever you want to call it.

Mrs Wilson-Raybould getting punted to veterans affairs minister, to me, is proof to me that going against the PMOs wishes isn't something the PM takes to kindly-from anyone. Media isn't stupid and I don't suspect they want to be under the Liberals crosshairs.


 

QV

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One of the disturbing aspects in this was when Telford stated if JWR felt uncomfortable doing their bidding they would line up favourable opeds... and that she wasn’t interested in legalities... allegedly.  Nothing worse than corruption in high office. 
 

Remius

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QV said:
One of the disturbing aspects in this was when Telford stated if JWR felt uncomfortable doing their bidding they would line up favourable opeds... and that she wasn’t interested in legalities... allegedly.  Nothing worse than corruption in high office.

Not surprising.  No less disturbing though about the legalities.
 

Strike

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SeaKingTacco said:
I also find it ironic that many of the very same people who loudly decry the many moral and ethical lapses of the President to the south, cannot seem to recognize or even defend similar behaviour in our own Prime Minister.

Opposite sides of the same coin, those two.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Baden Guy said:
Really? Not quite, Trumps in a league of his own.

Really?/ ....2 years under a microscope with a media that hates you and nothing.  Up here, a media you just tried to buy, who generally gush on you, and the stories just keep on coming.    So if I read you right, you're saying Mr. Trump is just that much smarter then Mr. Trudeau?? ;)
 

Remius

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
Really?/ ....2 years under a microscope with a media that hates you and nothing.  Up here, a media you just tried to buy, who generally gush on you, and the stories just keep on coming.    So if I read you right, you're saying Mr. Trump is just that much smarter then Mr. Trudeau?? ;)

Depends.  Fox news is pretty much what you consider the CBC to be for Trudeau.  Fox obviously does not hate Trump.  Plus Trump has the national enquirer willing to buy up people's stories about him to quash them. 

Trump is indeed in a league of his own.  no comparing him to anyone. 
 

Fishbone Jones

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
Really?/ ....2 years under a microscope with a media that hates you and nothing.  Up here, a media you just tried to buy, who generally gush on you, and the stories just keep on coming.    So if I read you right, you're saying Mr. Trump is just that much smarter then Mr. Trudeau?? ;)

Agreed.
 

Cloud Cover

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QV said:
One of the disturbing aspects in this was when Telford stated if JWR felt uncomfortable doing their bidding they would line up favourable opeds... and that she wasn’t interested in legalities... allegedly.  Nothing worse than corruption in high office.

Well that can be achieved without much effort and it is not necessarily skull duggery. They could, for example, have an article written in a political magazine by a lobbyist or academic. For legal opinions, they can contact a lawyer and have them write a legal article and have it published somewhere, then point a journalists to the article. It would make interesting reading.

Companies, activist groups, special interests and NGO's do these things all the time, is it really fair to expect that the political staff of the PMO would not, cannot or must not do the same? 

I think where perhaps we can all be disappointed is where the mainstream press corps stray away from the cardinal objective of journalism:
“A journalist is the lookout on the bridge of the ship of state,” Joseph Pulitzer wrote. “The power to mould the future of the Republic will be in the hands of the journalists of future generations.”

and:
"Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together. An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery."

This objective of journalism is the defining difference between the role of the free press (know the right, preserve the virtue) and Op Eds.  Op Eds do not usually contain original reporting, and do very little to preserve and protect the virtue of the public (although that is not always the case.) The OP Ed objective may very well be to sham, but that is not journalism, it is opinion.
 

vonGarvin

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Remius said:
Depends.  Fox news is pretty much what you consider the CBC to be for Trudeau.  Fox obviously does not hate Trump.  Plus Trump has the national enquirer willing to buy up people's stories about him to quash them. 

Trump is indeed in a league of his own.  no comparing him to anyone.
Fox News is roughly 50/50 on pro/anti Trump stories.

People read his tweets for themselves.

Unlike the opposition, he's not telling the electorate that they are chirping from the cheap seats, or that he's the boss. Au contraire, he tells the electorate that they are the boss.

But I get it.  Orange Man Bad.
 
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