Thursday, February 15, 2007

A day is a lifetime in Conservativeland

Here's what they were saying on Tuesday:

Changing Canada's judiciary used to be a cause that senior Conservatives backed loudly and publicly, but now that they are in office, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson insists the Tories have no such plans.
When asked yesterday whether the government is now trying to appoint a judiciary that interprets the Charter of Rights and Freedoms less broadly, or is tougher on crime, Mr. Nicholson said little is being changed.

"We want individuals who are on the bench who are competent, first-class legal minds. I think the judicial system in this country works very well. We are supportive of the Charter, we are supportive of the judicial system in this country. We think it works well," Mr. Nicholson said.

And here's what they were saying on Wednesday:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said yesterday that he wants judges who will reflect his government's law-and-order agenda, stating matter-of-factly that he will pick judges who will crack down on crime.
"We want to make sure we are bringing forward laws to make sure that we crack down on crime, that we make our streets and communities safer. We want to make sure our selection of judges is in correspondence with those objectives," Mr. Harper said in the Commons yesterday.
Completely reversing your talking points in less than 24 hours. Now that takes strong, decisive leadership. Maybe Rob missed a memo.

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers


James Curran said...

Yes. That's about right. Rob is not allowed to have original thoughts. That's why I am doing my best to be the candidate to run against him.

THe What Do I Know Grit

Anonymous said...

Guess Harpor's focus groups were on holidays... Notice the unusually short turnaround from 'denial' to 'playing to the converted'. Remember how Mulrooney had the blarney, and for about the first five years of his prime ministership, the MsM were eating it up? They then turned on him and began to almost mock it...
I'm getting the feeling that Harpor believes this kind of so-called tough talk will win him friends and impress the media.
Here's hoping some of them aren't flattered by the BS.

Anonymous said...

From both comments, it seems the key is that the PM, and the minister, want criminals to be dealt with in some stronger way, using the laws provided.

The problem the opposition has now, is that no matter what judge is appointed, they will be coming from the opposition also claims is the best system in the world.

If it is the best, then those who work in it, presumably will treat the law in an even-handed manner.

Is the opposition hinting at something less about our current lawyers and judiciary?

For that is the only place any judge can come from, isn't it.

Anonymous said...

Well, gangs have leaders with tough talk too.

Hitler was a tough talking leader.

Bush is a tough talking leader.

The godfathers of the Mafia are tough talking leaders.

..seems like tough talking leaders aren't always a good thing.

canuckistanian said...

acacia, could you kindly learn how to write before posting comments so that we can all understand just what in the hell you are trying to say. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Note highlighted and previously missed there a penalty box?

"The problem the opposition has now, is that no matter what judge is appointed, they will be coming from *what* the opposition also claims is the best system in the world."

Scotian said...


You are making an apples to oranges comparison, not an apples to apples one. Harper did not just swap out old Lib appointees to the committees for his new ones, he changed the balance of power for the PM's appointees from minority to majority on the committee and de facto nullified the vote of the Judge's rep by making him chair over 7 other people instead of when the chair was overseeing six under the old format, and chairs only vote in ties which don't happen much in odd numbered totals. So there is not the problem for the Liberals to deal with that you appear to think there is.

What I am wondering though is did you make this argument knowing the changes made to the committee structures and how it significantly altered the balance of power within them to the PM or did you simply not know about it because you didn't look into it deeply enough?

Anonymous said...

Scotian, as I understand it, the committees are presented names for consideration.

Do you know if the lawyers themselves present themselves as candidates, or ???

The final decision in the end is made, has always been made, by the Prime Minister.

People keep saying that Canada has the finest legal system in the world.

Extend that claim, and there should be no doubt about the quality of the lawyers in our system, being appointed as judges.

Last night Jeffrey Simpson was answering questions from posters in the Globe and Mail's discussion site. Here in part is what he said:

"..appointments to the Supreme Court have been, generally speaking, fair to excellent.

There are some judges there who do the bulk of the heavy lifting in that they write more, and more thoughtfully, than others. But this could be said of a group of people in any area of human activity.

...As an aside, I used to say often to my judicial activist friends — including senior judges — that if they continued to overturn parliamentary decisions that had been vetted by a democratic process, and if they kept expanding defence, aboriginal and other rights, there would be a reaction through the political process.

They scoffed. They were wrong. I've had some stimulating arguments with Supreme Court judges about this in private, some of whom are no longer on the court.

I do believe that, in recent years, the Supreme Court has tried to be more balanced between deference and activism, although as I said to a very wise legal scholar friend of mine this week, a lay person like me cannot find the line through the decisions about where they show deference and not."

You are not suggesting that candidates must align with one political party, to even have their name added for consideration, I hope.