Still working on the prediction. It's getting late for predictions, but really I have no clue how the election is going to go.
Thanks to Ian at Vancouver Scrum, and to Warren Kinsella (who ran against TED White back in 1997) for pointing out to me that I had confused Randy White with Ted White.
Anyway, today's post is entitled:
(to heck with the courts, eh?)
I'm definitely going to be glad I'm a straight white male if the Conservatives win this election. Here's why.
Randy White, one of the brighter bulbs in the Conservative caucus (remember this is the same caucus that still contains Stockwell Day) made some comments back in May for a tv program which is set to be aired in August. White's says that the Conservative Party will use the notwithstanding clause to veto any court decisions that they don't like. That would include any Supreme Court of Canada decision to allow gay marriage, like the recent decision which allowed gays to marry in Ontario.
White is specically opposed to such Supreme court decisions as the one in the case R. v. Egan in 1995, in which the Supreme Court interpreted sexual orientation into the Charter of Rights.
Anyway, the story is that the Liberals have gotten ahold of the footage and now White's comments have been made public during the election, and now Stephen Harper has been forced onto the defensive during the last weekend of the election.
Without further ado, here are Randy White's strange remarks:
"The heck with the courts, eh? You know, one of these days we in this country are going to stand up and say, 'The politicians make the laws and the courts do not.' The courts interpret that law. And if we don't like that interpretation, there's the notwithstanding clause in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which the Liberal government has never invoked and said they will not use. I believe we'll see that with us in the House of Commons because enough is enough of this stuff…
"I think most people are getting sick and tired of judges writing the law to suit themselves and to suit the current Liberal government, in fact.
"It's time that we started to exert our responsibility as politicians in the country. If the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is going to be used as the crutch to carry forward all of the issues that social libertarians want, then there's got to be for us conservatives out there a way to put checks and balances in there."
These attacks on the Supreme Court are nothing new for this party. In 2000, Alan Gold, president of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, had this to say about the (then) Reform Party's attacks on the Supreme Court's decisions:
"The Criminal Lawyers Association deplores recent attacks on the Supreme Court of Canada as ill-conceived and misguided applications of Parliamentary Supremacy doctrine and unfair attacks on an institution that cannot as a matter of law defend itself.
We see too many bullies because it is easy to be seduced by the power that comes from attacking someone who cannot defend themselves. It is shameful when such conduct comes from political leaders. Parliamentary Supremacy makes Parliament supreme within its jurisdiction. An exercise of that jurisdiction gave us a Charter of Rights that is a model and a beacon of liberty around the world. The guardian of that Charter is the Supreme Court of Canada. That Court since 1982 has given us world-class judgments involving human rights and fundamental liberties that are read and cited and admired by courts around the world. We are unaware of any jurisdiction that has looked to the Reform Party platform for guidance on any issue.
Politicians are too easily blown onto an ill-conceived course by whatever strong winds happen to fill their sails. They too easily jettison rationality and restraint whenever hailed by misinformed and intemperate lobby groups. On the other hand, there is a worldwide movement towards the recognition of fundamental rights and their indomitable protection in a basic Charter of Rights protected by an independent judiciary."
Ask yourself, do you seriously want to vote for a goverment that would give a man like Randy White (and Stockwell Day) cabinet positions?