Steven Harper campaigning today and Dr. John Anderson

Harper does not seem to understand

Ottawa, Ontario, Wednesday, January 18 , 2005, by : John Anderson
According to a piece on the CBC National News last night, which also appears on the CBC web site this morning (see link html, Stephen Harper has started to backpeddle on all of the promises that he has made in the last seven weeks.

But the truly scary part is his reason. "Harper said a Tory majority would only be able to exercise limited power in Ottawa because of a Liberal-dominated Senate and bureaucracy appointed by Liberal governments. 'The reality is we will have for some time to come a Liberal senate, Liberal civil service. At least senior levels have been appointed by the Liberals, and courts that have been appointed by the Liberals.'

"Harper didn't directly question the independence of the courts and the civil service but suggested years of Liberal appointments would prevent a real Conservative majority. '... We will have checks on us and limits on our ability to operate that a Liberal government would not face.'"

These statements should be setting off alarm bells all across this country. At the very least these statements reflect Harper's idolization of all things American. In the United States it is accepted that the judiciary and the top levels of the public service are politicized. Not so in Canada. Harper does not seem to understand that Canada and the United States have vastly different democratic traditions even though the two countries may appear superficially similar.

At worst, Harper's statement is worthy of a corrupt tin-pot dictator who insists that the public service and the judiciary do his/her bidding, irrespective of the law and legal precedent, on pain of being replaced -- or worse.

We have in this country a judicial system and a professional public service that are truly the envy of the world. For Harper to suggest that they are other than impartial is an affront to the traditions on which this country was founded.

Harper is entitled to his opinions on policy matters. But these statements are another example of why he cannot be trusted with power in Ottawa.

John Anderson


J & C Anderson Associates Inc.


Martlatt, Brian, The progress of Deomocracy, February 9, 2004, Ensign


Marlatt, Brian, Vetting Supreme Court Judges, August 25, 2004, Ensign


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