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Alleged PMO obstruction in SNC Lavalin case

Brad Sallows

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>A lot of people don't want Scheer as leader.

I know.  That is how some will choose their vote: not as "for" Trudeau, but as "against" Scheer.  Others will be "for" Trudeau, or "for" LPC.  Each person's reason is his own.

But I could wish the people with pulpits would stop all the fucking hypothetical fear-mongering and hypocritical finger pointing.

What has Scheer done that is illegal or unethical?

The story so far: the LPC is beholden to SNC for donations; some of those donations were illegal and had to be returned.  SNC lobbied hard for a legislative provision to ease their oncoming plight; the LPC passed it (including following advice to bury it omnibus-fashion).  When the prosecutor declined to use the provision, internal pressure was applied to the AG.  We heard that the (unelected) staff in the PMO didn't care much about the Harper-era law that constrained them, and that they believed they could pave public opinion with some tame op-eds.  And in the end, the guy who so often manages to apologize to one group or another in place of the people who did the dirty coughs up a variation of his template for things in which he did the dirty: "I respect your view, but I disagree with it".

Some people call what happened obstruction of justice (I am not sure if it fully fits the legal definition).  Suppose it is.  Should a leader be removed for it, or not?
 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=Brad Sallows]

What has Scheer done that is illegal or unethical?[/quote]
Nothing. He's not a train wreck so people aren't interested.

Should a leader be removed for it, or not?

I caught a general talking about that neo-nazi MCpl and how his actions don't reflect the ethics and values of the CAF.
100%

But then I thought about what Trudeau did. How would we react to a CO, or General, who behaved the same way Trudeau did with his ethic violations? More so the harassment and intimidation of a subordinate and trying to pressure them to help someone guilty of something avoid charges?

How would the CAF treat someone doing the shit he does?
 

Remius

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Brad Sallows said:
>

Some people call what happened obstruction of justice (I am not sure if it fully fits the legal definition).  Suppose it is.  Should a leader be removed for it, or not?

Excellent points Brad.

And no charges as of yet.  None proven in a court of law at any rate.

Do we wait for that then remove?

What would be the mechanism for his removal?  One way or another?

Does caucus support him? Seems so.

That leaves the people at election time.  “The people are never wrong” is the saying.  PMs can be removed if the people want it.  Do they?  Not sure.
 

Brad Sallows

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>What would be the mechanism for his removal?

Parliament has the power.  Practically, Parliament won't use that power.  One of the benefits of living in a full democracy rather than a flawed one.

>That leaves the people at election time.

As it should.  Ultimately, Canadians are the custodians of "Canadian Values" (whatever they may be) and how the values are ranked.
 

Cloud Cover

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“If Scheer wins a minority he'll be out in a year as well and the Liberals will likely get power again.”

I wonder if just because a party wins a minority of seats does that mean they have to try and form a government. If invited to try and form one by the GG, could the minority leader decline?
 

The Bread Guy

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Cloud Cover said:
I wonder if just because a party wins a minority of seats does that mean they have to try and form a government. If invited to try and form one by the GG, could the minority leader decline?
Technically, I suppose they can -- but I wouldn't bet too much on that leader remaining leader tooooooooooo much longer after saying, "thanks, but no thanks" to being PM.
 

Cloud Cover

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Was just thinking of the NDP deciding today that they would not support a Conservative government. it looks like a Con minority outcome will immediately trigger a coalition of the others or an immediate election.
 

The Bread Guy

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Cloud Cover said:
Was just thinking of the NDP deciding today that they would not support a Conservative government. it looks like a Con minority outcome will immediately trigger a coalition of the others or an immediate election.
Or a truly crass Liberal cave-in JUST to keep hanging on to a smidgen of power by their fingernails :)
 

OldSolduer

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IF a Conservative minority government fell due to a non confidence motion, can the leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition petition the Governor General to form a government?

 

TCM621

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Brad Sallows said:
>What would be the mechanism for his removal?

Parliament has the power.  Practically, Parliament won't use that power.  One of the benefits of living in a full democracy rather than a flawed one.

>That leaves the people at election time.

As it should.  Ultimately, Canadians are the custodians of "Canadian Values" (whatever they may be) and how the values are ranked.

In a full democracy, the executive would enact the will of the legislative branch. In Canada, the executive runs the legislative branch most of the time. Canada has zero checks and balances with the exception of a very weak Charter. A majority government in Canada is a virtual dictatorship for 5 years. We have a PM who has 4 separate ethics violations in accordance with legislation meaning he broke the law 4 times but it means nothing.
 

FJAG

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Tcm621 said:
In a full democracy, the executive would enact the will of the legislative branch. In Canada, the executive runs the legislative branch most of the time. Canada has zero checks and balances with the exception of a very weak Charter. A majority government in Canada is a virtual dictatorship for 5 years. We have a PM who has 4 separate ethics violations in accordance with legislation meaning he broke the law 4 times but it means nothing.

On the other hand you do not have the legislative/executive gridlocks that have been going on south of the border the last eight years or so.

:cheers:
 

Cloud Cover

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Hamish Seggie said:
IF a Conservative minority government fell due to a non confidence motion, can the leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition petition the Governor General to form a government?

I think that’s exactly what Harper did to Dion or Martin. Can’t remember which.
 

PuckChaser

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Cloud Cover said:
I think that’s exactly what Harper did to Dion or Martin. Can’t remember which.

It was Martin, because of the Sponsorship scandal. The same scandal that caused Harper to create the legal separation between DPP and the government that's now ensnared PM Trudeau in alleged obstruction of justice. New decade, same Liberal corruption. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Canadian_federal_election

Dion was the Liberal leader in 2008 when Harper won his first majority.
 

ModlrMike

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It may be semantics, but I believe the GG was asked to "consider all options", rather than give the opposition the opportunity to form the government. Of course, the GG wisely chose to dissolve parliament instead.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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It is not semantics, MdlrMike, nor was it what the GG was asked. And it was with the Dion Liberals, not Martin.

Someone asked earlier if Parliament could remove Trudeau from the PM post. The asnwer in our system is: no. However, the lower chamber - the commons - can withdraw its confidence in the PM, in which case the GG, upon cousel (i.e. at the request of the PM) has to disolve Parliament and run an election. It is the streght of our democracy that no PM ever tried to hang on without the confidence of the commons and ask the GG to simply let him/her continue regardless of a no-confidence vote.

There is someone, however that can remove the PM from his/her post - or at least used to be able to in Canada until even that function was usurped by the political parties - and it is the party caucuses. That's how a certain Boris became PM in England not too long ago so he could go and put his feet up on the French President's nice furniture ;).

Going back to what happened with the 40th Paliament, you may recall that Dion (at the time) made a coalition with Layton, supported by Duceppe and May to ask that the GG put them in power rather than see the Parliament disolved when a no-confidence vote against Harper's minority loomed large and was threatened by that very same coalition. Now, that "coalition" never really asked the GG directly - since they have no such access to the GG - but through press conferences and a letter to her. The GG acts on acvice of her council (that is the PM and cabinet - the PM only in reality) and Harper requested prorogation of Parliament. She granted it, as she truly had no choice in the matter (At the time, some observers called the whole thing a constitutional crisis - which so long as the GG did what the PM recommended and was legal to do - was proper and averted what would otherwise have been a crisis, i.e. if she had elected to act independantly of the PM's advice and name the coalition).

You may also recall that, as a result of this "failure" and of bringning the Bloc Quebecois into a coalition, Dion was sacked by the Libs and Igniatieff named in his place as leader. 
 

suffolkowner

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
It is not semantics, MdlrMike, nor was it what the GG was asked. And it was with the Dion Liberals, not Martin.

Someone asked earlier if Parliament could remove Trudeau from the PM post. The asnwer in our system is: no. However, the lower chamber - the commons - can withdraw its confidence in the PM, in which case the GG, upon cousel (i.e. at the request of the PM) has to disolve Parliament and run an election. It is the streght of our democracy that no PM ever tried to hang on without the confidence of the commons and ask the GG to simply let him/her continue regardless of a no-confidence vote.

There is someone, however that can remove the PM from his/her post - or at least used to be able to in Canada until even that function was usurped by the political parties - and it is the party caucuses. That's how a certain Boris became PM in England not too long ago so he could go and put his feet up on the French President's nice furniture ;).

Going back to what happened with the 40th Paliament, you may recall that Dion (at the time) made a coalition with Layton, supported by Duceppe and May to ask that the GG put them in power rather than see the Parliament disolved when a no-confidence vote against Harper's minority loomed large and was threatened by that very same coalition. Now, that "coalition" never really asked the GG directly - since they have no such access to the GG - but through press conferences and a letter to her. The GG acts on acvice of her council (that is the PM and cabinet - the PM only in reality) and Harper requested prorogation of Parliament. She granted it, as she truly had no choice in the matter (At the time, some observers called the whole thing a constitutional crisis - which so long as the GG did what the PM recommended and was legal to do - was proper and averted what would otherwise have been a crisis, i.e. if she had elected to act independantly of the PM's advice and name the coalition).

You may also recall that, as a result of this "failure" and of bringning the Bloc Quebecois into a coalition, Dion was sacked by the Libs and Igniatieff named in his place as leader.

OGBD I think that Viscount Byng might disagree with some of the above
 

Brad Sallows

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>Someone asked earlier if Parliament could remove Trudeau from the PM post. The asnwer in our system is: no. However, the lower chamber - the commons - can withdraw its confidence in the PM, in which case the GG, upon cousel (i.e. at the request of the PM) has to disolve Parliament and run an election.

How strong is the "has to"?  The scenario I had in mind was a government engineering its own defeat with a clear alternate PM in mind, whom the GG could ask to form a government.  (I was also thinking a reasonable PM, knowing it was coming, would resign rather than push the country into a possible crisis or election.)

For caucus to remove the PM would obviously be preferable.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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It's a matter of timing, Brad.

If the Commons remove their confidence in the PM, they are in reality withdrawing their confidence in the governement of her Majesty. Once done, it's too late and the GG really (under our constitutional tradition) has no real say in granting the PM's request (who has no more real power at that point to "advise" otherwise) to disolve Parliement. Note that, under such scenario, the PM remains PM and, should he/she get a majority in the upcoming election, can maintain his status as PM, unless somehow even a majority from his own party won't give him their confidence (unheard of afaik). You can talk to Mr. Harper about that one: He remained PM after a vote of non-cofidence forced him into an election and gained his first majority that way.

On the other hand, when caucus throw the PM out and appoints a new leader, there remains the expectation that such new leader has the support of the majority of the lower chamber since it is the party with the most MP who put the new leader in place, so the GG, upon receipt of the news that the new leader has exposed himself/herself to the vote of confidence of the lower chamber and obtained a majority, is bound to ask the new leader to form a government, again under our constitutional tradition. At least this last bit is how it happens in the other Westminster style Parliaments around the world, other than Canada.

Unfortunately for us, the parties (and by that I mean the top hierarchy of those parties that run the show behind the scene as permanent staff of those parties) in Canada have long usurped power of Parliament by introducing, bit by bit, various ways and means imported from the US Republican system, but in such way as to actually giving us a system that has all the foibles of either system but none of the redeemeing characteristics. It has given us irresponsible governement - the very opposite of what we fought (and in the Province I come from it was actual fighting) for to rid Upper and Lower Canada of the Family Compact and the Clique du Palais. As a result, we now have MP's from the parties with most seat in Parliament but not member of the Governement (only Ministers of the Crown and Ministers of State are - not the MP's called back benchers) kowtowed into doing the government's biding in the commons, like trained monkeys , instead of doing their job of holding the Governement accountable to their electors.

No wonder ordinary MP's and Canadian senators  are considered nobodies when you compare them to their American Representatvies and Senators counterparts.
 

Jarnhamar

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Luckily for PM Trudeau Canadians are more concerned about how many hamburgers Donald Trump had for lunch and who he's tweeting about than something as insignificant as ethics violations by the Prime Minister.
 

FSTO

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
It's a matter of timing, Brad.

If the Commons remove their confidence in the PM, they are in reality withdrawing their confidence in the governement of her Majesty. Once done, it's too late and the GG really (under our constitutional tradition) has no real say in granting the PM's request (who has no more real power at that point to "advise" otherwise) to disolve Parliement. Note that, under such scenario, the PM remains PM and, should he/she get a majority in the upcoming election, can maintain his status as PM, unless somehow even a majority from his own party won't give him their confidence (unheard of afaik). You can talk to Mr. Harper about that one: He remained PM after a vote of non-cofidence forced him into an election and gained his first majority that way.

On the other hand, when caucus throw the PM out and appoints a new leader, there remains the expectation that such new leader has the support of the majority of the lower chamber since it is the party with the most MP who put the new leader in place, so the GG, upon receipt of the news that the new leader has exposed himself/herself to the vote of confidence of the lower chamber and obtained a majority, is bound to ask the new leader to form a government, again under our constitutional tradition. At least this last bit is how it happens in the other Westminster style Parliaments around the world, other than Canada.

Unfortunately for us, the parties (and by that I mean the top hierarchy of those parties that run the show behind the scene as permanent staff of those parties) in Canada have long usurped power of Parliament by introducing, bit by bit, various ways and means imported from the US Republican system, but in such way as to actually giving us a system that has all the foibles of either system but none of the redeemeing characteristics. It has given us irresponsible governement - the very opposite of what we fought (and in the Province I come from it was actual fighting) for to rid Upper and Lower Canada of the Family Compact and the Clique du Palais. As a result, we now have MP's from the parties with most seat in Parliament but not member of the Governement (only Ministers of the Crown and Ministers of State are - not the MP's called back benchers) kowtowed into doing the government's biding in the commons, like trained monkeys , instead of doing their job of holding the Governement accountable to their electors.

No wonder ordinary MP's and Canadian senators  are considered nobodies when you compare them to their American Representatvies and Senators counterparts.

In my perfect world, all the backbenchers of all parties would get together and force the caucuses to limit the power of the PMO.
Will never happen though.

 
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