Steelcitygrit [in exile]

Ruminating on all things Canadian and political.

 

Monday, October 23, 2006

Fortier has no excuse


First off, the appointment of Michael Fortier to the cabinet expressly contradicts Harper's position on the issue in the election. He said he would not appoint cabinet ministers, not that he would not appoint them unless he thought it a good idea later on.

This is a practice not without precedent. However, the convention is clear, these appointments must run at the first available chance. Here's Graham White from the Canadian Democratic Audit (let's not forget how much Harper hates the "democratic deficit"):

"A powerful constitutional convention...ensures that once appointed to cabinet, ministers must in short order win elected office...While it is permissible to serve in cabinet without a seat it is not permissable to do so for long. Ministers appointed in this fashion must soon secure a seat."
(from "Cabinets and First Ministers")

It is not as if this convention does not allow PMs to bend the rules enough as it is. You must run, and not only if you can win! White gives the example of Liberal Pierre Juneau who was appointed, ran, lost, and resigned, end of story.

It is this convention that White cites as mitigating the undemocratic nature of such appointments. But my main problem is with the Conservative justification we are hearing, which is that Fortier said he would run in the next "general election," not by-election, so he's covered. So what? He knew his undemocratic plan from the beginning, way to go. That he said it is of no significance. He has no excuse for not running, other than pure political reasons, and this distinction is not one of any consequence. Last time I checked, unelected businessmen don't get to set constitutional convention with media statments.

On a related note, the timing of these byelections, right before the convention, is so calculated it is hard not to laugh.

*Above: Michael Fortier, star of CBS's "New Adventures of Old Christine."

-Steve

4 Comments:

Blogger Jason Bo Green said...

I really don't know why he appointed Fortier - it wasn't a very clever decision. It honestly confounds me - I don't get it.

6:47 AM  
Blogger SteelCityGrit said...

The photo caption is hilarious.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

ha ha I'm glad you liked it. I was dissapointed I couldn't get it right under the pic like in a newspaper.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous burlivespipe said...

The act of appointing this commerce SCAB is truly the open sore of truth about Harpor's true intentions regarding democratic accountability. Represent Montreal? There are no Quebec senators (never mind MPs) representing the Tories who could have held the title of montreal rep? Ok, but to appoint some one, name him to cabinet, and then pretend you are still honouring your commitment of cleaning up parliament -- this can only come from the headless horse with 2 tails!
Fortier is sleeze pure and simple. His disdain for the act of democracy, ie the voter's voice, reeks. In a minority gov't one could say that they will run in "the next general election". That will be the most likely scenario for montreal residents to have their say, no? But to turn your back on democracy and essentially say, I accept my job with its perks and responsibilities but do not accept the risk of surviving the democratic act, is out-right contempt for the people of Quebec. I sure hope a few good journalists are doing their homework on this guy's file...

11:32 PM  

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