Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What Harper should have said....

....when Martin went off about Canadian values. It is another wedge issue for Paul Martin - claim the Liberals hold Canadian values. But seriously folks, nothing is as Canadian as the notwithstanding clause. For all its proposed flaws, it is unique. In fact, Harper should have pounced on Martin when he was raising up a storm accusing Harper of harbouring American values. Here is what Martin said:

I don't believe that Canada was built on american conservative values...
I guess the only thing I would say to Mr. Harper in this discussion is that America is our neighbour. It's not our nation, and we have our own set of values, and that's why we're so strong in this country, and they apply to the debate we're now having.

Harper should have said: "Nothing is more Canadian than the notwithstanding clause, which strikes a balance between British and American constitutionalism. Mr. Martin, it is you who has an agenda which will remove the notwithstandin clause, which, in effect, would give us a Charter that is a carbon copy of the American constitution. As you yourself have said, "we have our own set of values." Your proposal would no longer seperate us from the American system of Court-rule."

POINT 2: Although Martin could be applauded for actually limiting his government, he also should be chided for worsening the democratic deficit - something that is "fundamentally his absolute top priority."

Removing s.33 of the Charter would essentially make Canada's Parliament a slave to the Court - how much more of an undemocratic gesture is that? It is a reduction of democracy. Further, it would absolve him responsibility of making tough social decisions that would actually make him take a position on social issues. Without s.33, he could just pass the buck on to the Court. The buck doesn't stop here, apparently.

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