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Is Harper in trouble...

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It now seems some Senators are grumbling about Harper's not making any recommendations to the Governor General to fill the current 13 vacancies in the Senate; in particular, 5 of the Atlantic region's 24 spots are empty, 3 out of 10 for Nova Scotia alone. Amazingly, the two Senators about to call on Michaelle Jean to unilaterally make appointments each come from different parties - one Liberal, one Conservative.

Senator Moore presented a motion:

That an humble Address be presented to Her Excellency the Governor General praying that she will fill the vacancies in the Senate by summons to fit and qualified persons.

Senator Cools went further:

That the following Address be presented to Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada:

To Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaƫlle Jean, Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order of Canada, Chancellor and Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY:

We, Her Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subjects, the Senate of Canada in Parliament assembled, beg leave humbly to represent to Her Excellency our just anxiety for the constitutional condition of our country, which condition is needing Her Excellency's intervention to provide Her Majesty's Canadian subjects with proper and full representation in the Senate of Canada, and thereby to avert the constitutional crisis arising from the Prime Minister's refusal to perform his sworn constitutional duty of advising Her Excellency in the exercise of Her lawful constitutional duties, in particular, Her Excellency's vice-regal duty in regard to Her Majesty Queen Victoria's command which Her Majesty enacted as the British North America Act, 1867, Section 32., in the most carefully chosen words, "When a Vacancy happens in the Senate by Resignation, Death, or otherwise, the Governor General shall by Summons to a fit and qualified Person fill the Vacancy.'', which words "shall ... fill'' are clear and unambiguous in their constitutional construction, meaning, and interpretation, and are not open to any doubt whatsoever;

That it appears to your faithful subjects and senators that the Prime Minister has claimed a power unknown to our Constitution and to our law, being the false power of refusal to advise the Governor General, and, that the Prime Minister's public refusal to advise the Governor General on qualified persons for appointment to the Senate is a power which is not only false, but which is also wholly repugnant to the Constitution, because the exercise of such a power by a prime minister has the effect of making the Governor General into a felon and outlaw of the Constitution, and that this would be a most terrible infamy, not countenanced by the Constitution, of which Her Majesty is the source of all power and authority, and that such infamy would be a most terrible constitutional crisis;

That it appears to your faithful subjects and senators that prime ministers have no constitutional power whatsoever to compel or to cause the Governor General of Canada to transgress the law, and that confronted with such compulsion and provocation from any prime minister, the Governor General's proper constitutional duty is to refuse to acquiesce to that prime minister, and to decline to transgress the law, therein to uphold the Constitution, the law, and the rights of Canadians to responsible government and a lawfully abiding prime minister;

We therefore humbly pray Your Excellency, that, in conformity with the law and the B.N.A. Act, 1867, Section 32., Your Excellency, the Head of Parliament, the high representative of the people of Canada and the actuating power in the Constitution, will be pleased to exercise her lawful and constitutional duties, and will be pleased to summon qualified persons to the Senate of Canada to fill the many and growing vacancies, thereby to provide Her Majesty's Canadian subjects with proper representation in the Senate and thereby also to provide for the proper operation of the Parliament of Canada, for peace order and good government, and for the amelioration of the constitutional condition of the country.

The references to the Constitution Act are, of course, correct; it is the Govenrnor General's duty to fill Senate seats... how long can she wait for Harper to advise her?

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Is anyone else detecting a trend here?

Maybe someone could point out what type of appointments Harper has not failed to make in a timely manner.

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We, Her Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subjects...

Great Scott Marty, we've travelled back to the year 1981!

1981?

The statemet reminded me of something that would be said before the 82 constitutional act.

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We, Her Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subjects...

Great Scott Marty, we've travelled back to the year 1981!

1981?

The statemet reminded me of something that would be said before the 82 constitutional act.

But not after... why?

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He'd be in trouble if he did appoint them, maybe he should fill all 13 with conservatives, then whatch them scream.

He's just nominated the next Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioners.

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We, Her Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subjects...

Great Scott Marty, we've travelled back to the year 1981!

1981?

The statemet reminded me of something that would be said before the 82 constitutional act.

But not after... why?

The Queen is no longer driving the bus.

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The references to the Constitution Act are, of course, correct; it is the Govenrnor General's duty to fill Senate seats... how long can she wait for Harper to advise her?

There are quite a few Senate retirements coming up too. This could go on several months or more until the Liberals win and can fill the appointments.

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We, Her Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subjects...

Great Scott Marty, we've travelled back to the year 1981!

1981?

The statemet reminded me of something that would be said before the 82 constitutional act.

But not after... why?

The Queen is no longer driving the bus.

Are you absolutely sure about that?

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The references to the Constitution Act are, of course, correct; it is the Govenrnor General's duty to fill Senate seats... how long can she wait for Harper to advise her?

There are quite a few Senate retirements coming up too. This could go on several months or more until the Liberals win and can fill the appointments.

Right now areas of the country aren't being adequately represented in the Senate, which becomes especially noticeable when that chamber is currently looking at legislation that will alter it. As you note, this under representation will only become worse. The GG is duty bound to appoint people to vacant Senate seats, and more importantly to ensure parliamentary process is functioning. But, in our responsible government should only act on the advice of the PM. Is Harper forfeiting his responsibility to advise the vice-regal, and therefore causing constitutional havoc here?

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Right now areas of the country aren't being adequately represented in the Senate, which becomes especially noticeable when that chamber is currently looking at legislation that will alter it. As you note, this under representation will only become worse. The GG is duty bound to appoint people to vacant Senate seats, and more importantly to ensure parliamentary process is functioning. But, in our responsible government should only act on the advice of the PM. Is Harper forfeiting his responsibility to advise the vice-regal, and therefore causing constitutional havoc here?

Seems to me like the Liberals are playing right into Harper's hand with this one.

The pending "crisis" over the budget could lead to the Senate acting to block it's implementation.

Couple that with any calls for Michaelle Jean to appoint Senators on her own volition and you have Senate reform as a gift handed to the Conservatives.

The Liberals and NDP are fighting over the same votes on this one.

Tailor made issue for a fall election.

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Why is the Senate trying to gain more power everyday. First, they invented their right to hold up a bill on policy. Then they pretended they can refer to the SCC (which they haven't been able to yet...). And now they think they can appoint themselves by bullying the GG?

Abolish the whole thing and send these entitled brats on their way.

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Abolish the whole thing and send these entitled brats on their way.

I'm with you on abolishing it.

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Seems to me like the Liberals are playing right into Harper's hand with this one.

The pending "crisis" over the budget could lead to the Senate acting to block it's implementation.

Couple that with any calls for Michaelle Jean to appoint Senators on her own volition and you have Senate reform as a gift handed to the Conservatives.

The Liberals and NDP are fighting over the same votes on this one.

Tailor made issue for a fall election.

Actually, someone has since informed me that Jean's only alternative at this point would be to use one of the three rights she has a Govrenor General: to advise, encourage, and warn. Actually, I'll just post part of his post as he explains it quite well:

If the Governor General becomes seriously concerned that the Prime Minister is acting unconstitutionally by failing to advise the appointment of senators, then she has the famous "Bagehot rights" to be consulted, to encourage, and in this case to warn. If the Prime Minister chooses to ignore her protestations, her only alternative would be to determine whether Stephane Dion, for example, would be willing to take office (and thereby take the responsibility for her actions) under the circumstance of her dismissal of Mr Harper. The undoubtedly necessary consequence of such a change in government would be Mr Dion's advice for dissolution to allow the Canadian electorate to pronounce on the former prime minister's actions and Mr Dion's suitablity to continue in office. I very much doubt that Mr Dion would consent to take office under circumstances like these, so, until there is a public outcry about how Mr Harper is treating the Senate, the Governor General can only discreetly offer the Prime Minister her opinion.

So, Jean's only alternative if this were to go far enough would be to dissolve parliament and call an election. Harper would get his election, but this seems like a dangerous way to get it; I can't imagine Harper desires this outcome.

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Odd that the Conservatives are now in second place behind the Liberals:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/2...anada-poll.html

Keep up the good work Stephen.

Looks like Senate reform is not a priority. Removing the Tory government is.

The Liberals will appoint the Senators needed. Perhaps they might ask Casey is he would like to be a Senator.

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Well, a change of government without an election, eh? That may suit Canadians very well. It would also sacve Harper face from losing an election, and all the Conservatives could rally behind him about the injustice of it all. Of course failing to realize it would be Harper's fault, and/or his mechanations.

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Well, a change of government without an election, eh? That may suit Canadians very well. It would also sacve Harper face from losing an election, and all the Conservatives could rally behind him about the injustice of it all.

Change Government without an election because the Liberals have a three point lead in one poll?

Well, I guess they are Canada's Natural Governing Party. :rolleyes:

Please tell me that most of the Liberal supporters out there would be totally disgusted at mere suggestion this might take place. Anybody?

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Change Government without an election because the Liberals have a three point lead in one poll?

It has nothing to do with having a lead in the poll...it has to do with the senate vacancies. Not that I think it's a good idea...unless of course they want to form a coalition with the NDP or Bloc.

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