Jane Philpott, former cabinet minister of Treasury Board and previous minister of Health resigned on a matter of principle ( very rare in politics as most are concerned with their status and career), stating that " I must abide with my core values, my ethical responsibilities and constitutional obligations"..... "There can be a cost to acting on one's principles but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them" and she chose her values, her ethics and her principles and resigned rather than her political ambition and career.
This is rare in politics as most are wont to pursue ambition and career and thus ( in our parliamentary/cabinet. fusion of power system), defend policies and decisions of cabinet/government that clash with their values/principles.
She could not and thus her resignation ......" in Canada, the constitutional convention of cabinet solidarity means, among other things, that ministers are expected to defend all cabinet decisions. A minister must always e prepared to defend other ministers publiclty, and must speak in support of the government and its policies"......." Given this convention and the current circumstances, it is untenable for me to continue to serve as a Cabinet minister".
Untenable, because of the pressure put on fellow minister, Wilson-Raybould and " the independence and integrity of our justice system". Philpott and JSR had worked closely on a variety of issues like assisted dying and cannabis bills and had formed a mutual respect club and had become friends ( Philpott thanked JWR on helping her understand and improve her understanding of First Nations issues).
From all reports, Philpott was one of the most competent minister, greatly respected by her colleagues and Trudeau ( unlike in the JWR, case), noted that that and praised her service.
Why did he not praise and thank JSW? For one, she stood up to him, confronted him, turned away pressure from PMO and PCO and others and withstood the whispering,( racist, sexist, personal...she's arrogant, not a team player, taking advice from her father etc.), campaign, on the deferred, remedial arrangement with SNC. She chose not to resign, forcing Trudeau's hand, and he had to shuffle out of her position and demoted her to Veterans Affairs ( there have bee 5 ministers so far, treated as a dumping ground... no respect for Veterans, it would seem).
Then she resigned . Why now? It was because now as Veterans minister she would have to be a team player agreeing with all that the government and Cabinet decide and she could not do that ( as AG, she protected the Rule of Law, independent of her position as Justice minister...she did not have to be a team player but and independent actor).
This is what Philpott is saying with her resignation...she could not support Cabinet positions as required ...." all for one and one for all" principle of Cabinet Unity and Solidarity.
So here we are, with Trudeau and the Liberals caught in whirlpool of their own making, that threatens to ring down the government. This matter could have been resolved by simply coming out and stating their case about the need to allow SNC make a deal. They could have sold it easily, given the importance of SNC, the need to compete with other corporations of US, UK, etc. who have laws allowing for deferred prosecution. Instead Trudeau tried to play ard all with a principled minister who took er job as Attorney General and protecting the integrity of the very seriously
This is the first time in recent years that a Minister has resigned on principle. This takes character and integrity
The Trudeau government and Trudeau himself as well as his P M O ( esoecially, Telford and Tubbs), find themselves aught in a web of deceit and corruption.
The treatment of former Justice minister and Attorney-General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, was ham-handed and raised doubts about the competence of Trudeau and his advisers and of possible conflict on interest and interfering in the in a legal matter, involving fraud and corruption charges against S N C- Lavalin and whether they sought and were prtomised special treatment.
Jody Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of her position of Justice minister and placed in the of Veterans Affairs minister, a clear demotion. When she was selected as Justice minister, it was seen as a strong message to the First Nations and as a sign that Trudeau was determined to keep his promise to deal with the on an equal basis. She was the first of her people to hold that most senior position and was celebrated by First Nations and most Canadians.
She did a good enough job in the three years she was there and Trudeau commended her. She was very firm about maintaining the independence and integrity of the office of Attorney-General and to ensure that the Judiciary and the Rule of Law was kept free from political pressure and influence and for this she was removed, when she did not play ball with the P M O 's wish to go easy with S N C.
What happened? S N C was up on charges of fraud and corruption and they tried to use their position as a Quebec-based engineering behemoth to lobby the government to not take them to criminal trial but instead to allow a plea bargain ....known as a deferred prosecution agreement.
This agreement had been put in place in the 500+ page 2018 budget ( a non-money measure stuck in the last pages to avoid scrutiny), after the firm had met and lobbied the Prime Minister's Office on more than a dozen times ( they have also donated much to the Liberals and recently was charged and convicted for illegal donations, through employees). It was a sweetheart deal, which would allow for plea bargaining but no criminal charges, which would be financially detrimental ( S N C-Lavalin had already been suspended from bidding on World Bank projects for 10 years because of previous conviction of corruption/bribery.
According to the Globe and Mail, the P M O was putting pressure on Wilson-Raybould to intervene with the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel, who was proceeding with criminal charges against S N C. They wanted her to take over the file but she refused and was then shuffled out of Justice and a new amenable David Lametti ( and it would seem from his recent comments ).
Trudeau kept Wilson-Raybould in the Cabinet as Veterans Affairs minister. This is interesting for two reasons. One, it would show that while he was not satisfied with her performance as Justice minister he still had confidence in her ability, albeit in a minor position but more importantly, two, she as a member of the Cabinet will be a team player and play along.
She did not and resigned after Trudeau claimed he met her twice in B.C. and that he had " full confidence" in her.
As Justice minister, Wilson-Raybould was bound by the cabinet principles of Individual and Collective Responsibility ( as I used to tell my students, it is like the code of the 3 musketeers of " all for one and one for all") and were important for Cabinet Unity and Solidarity, crucial in getting things done. But as Attorney General, she is responsible to ensure the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary and of the Rule of Law. She had to make a decision and she decided that her position of Attorney General was more important ( as she stated in her blog letter after her removal).
Her action has completely shaken Trudeau and he came out flailing, attacking and blaming her and claiming that he did not " direct" her and neither did anyone else. He knows that she cannot defend herself, being bound by the Official Secrets Act and by client privilege, from which he has so far refused to free her. Also his " minions" are out whispering about being " arrogant', " sel-centered", " untrustworthy", " difficult to get along with" .
The Commons Justice committee made up of a majority of Liberals has met and refused to summon Wilson-Raybould or Butts or Telford etc. even as the Conservatives and N D P call for this. The Liberal's "trained seals" have voted against the " attack dogs".
The Ethics Commissioner ( appointed by the Liberals) is expected to investigate, but this will take months and beyond the next election, so this does not help.
Meanwhile in Quebec, where, the company is located and where the political class supports it ( pride and jobs), S N C is facing a new R C M P probe on its contract to refurbish the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
Trudeau is under intense pressure, not only to come clean but also to allow Wilson-Raybould to testify. He will dither and blame but ultimately will have to allow her to tell her story as more and more people are coming to her defense , Native groups ( who accuse her accusers of " perpetuating colonial-era sexist stereotypes that indigenous women cannot be powerful, forthright and steadfast in positions of power, but rather confrontational, meddling and egotistic), and women's group are also voicing their concerns and at least one cabinet minister, Philpot has signal her support and one Liberal M P.
Trudeau who has shown that he is impetuous and shortsighted,( more style than substance), is now being exposed as vindictive and hypocritical.
The Chinese government has sent a clear message to Canada, by quickly sentencing convicted drug trafficker Robert Schellenberg to death. He had appealed the previous sentence of 15 years in prison but this was used by the Chinese to make their great unhappiness with Canad known. He can appeal this sentence but he has become a pawn in a political squabble.
Schellenberg was convicted on various occasions in Abbotsford, B C, for drug trafficking, so he is no innocent bystander caught up in the China/ Canada, Huawei arrest.
Canada had been used by Trump in the arrest of Huawei CFO , Meng Wanzhou, who was picked up on a US request and is under house arrest, waiting extradition on fraud-related charges ( she is accused of trading with Iran, which Trump had reimposed sanctions on. He erroneously ( all powers to the nuclear agreement as well as U S intelligence agencies have stated that Iran was complying with terms of agreement), claimed that Iran was in violation.
Huawei, which is considered to be a front for Chinese intelligence, is allowed to do business in Canada. The UN and the other signatories to the Iran nuclear agreement have lifted sanctions on Iran for complying. Canada was hoping to curry favor with Trump ( we were at that time renegotiating the NAFTA-USMCA ).
Trudeau had once described China as the 2nd best country, because it gets things done quickly. Well, we have proof of that as they showed in the very fast manner in which, the death sentence was handed. He wanted to have a free trade agreement with China and so was playing nice ( this is the way he operates...all style, little substance). He even angered Japan and other countries at the Hanoi meeting of TPP when he kept them waiting, hoping that the Chinese would be impressed. They were not.
The next move is up to Canada and whatever Trudeau decides, will not benefit Canada. He has entered a errand and he lack the capacity to deal with it and neither is his Global Affairs minister, Freeland.
Theresa suffered three successive defeats in the House of Commons, over her Brexit deal and a revolt in her leadership in her party was barely forced back, but it is just a matter of time before she is pushed out.
Yesterday, the Labor leader introduced a vote of non-confidence but she was able to deflect it for mid-January. Her position is tenuous both as P M and leader of the Conservative party and she is held " hostage" by the Irish Unionist.
Her deal with the E U over Britain's exit is based on Northern Ireland remaining in the " zone"and this has added to the problems as the " hard" Brexiters, want nothing to do with it. She, is beat a lame duck and it is only her stubbornness that remains but her days are numbered.
Macron came into power on a very strong vote for change and renewal but his embracing of Trump on Bastille Day and his policies together with his seeming arrogance has turned against him and his drop in popularity has bee precipitous.
He wanted to reform the economic system, getting rid of some of the more entrenched social rights that the French have enjoyed since the creation of the 5th Republic, but it only resulted in widespread protests, strikes and massive demonstrations . His very presence in office is threatened and he either as to back down or use the emergency powers to quell the uprisings and that would be foolhardy.
He has decided to retreat, pulling back from cuts to services, taxes on pensions and has called on companies to pay year-end bonuses ( tax free), but this was dismissed as too little too late and the protests continue ( signs of 1968, when Charles de Gaulle, at the height of his popularity was brought down...the arrogance/ hauteur).
Things started to go bad when Macron was seen as too cozy with Trump, marching down the Champs Elysee arm in arm, hugging. It was too much for the French. Add to that his " royal" pretense, arrogant and seemingly out of touch ( not surprising given his quick rise to power and his job as a banker)
He is quickly being seen as shallow and uncaring and is time in office is sorely threatened. Let's see what happens this weekend.
Trudeau went to India, dressed up in kurta and danced the bhangra and was shunned until the last minute by the Indian prime minister. He had boasted that he had more Sikhs in his cabinet than were in the Indian cabinet ( a sore point as the Indians were very concerned with the Kalistanis ( Sikhs who want to break away from India, and had identified some in Trudeau's entourage as Kalistanis).
He had previously gone to Vietnam to the T P P meeting and was seen as trying to curry favor with China, by delaying the signing the agreement. Japan and the others were not happy.
Trudeau seem to think that his boyish " charm"( hair,socks and selfies), would be sufficient but he soon learned that in the world of rough and tumble politics, that will not suffice.
At home, he was glib about the pipelines, the environment and the trade talks. He waffled saying one thing and then doing the opposite ( just yesterday handing out $1.6 billion to the oil industry after talking about their effects on climate change in Hungary; talking tough about N A F T A/ U S M C A, and then acquiescing on dairy and tariffs on steel and aluminum).
He had a public falling out with Trump and now China is mad about the arrest and detention of a Huawei executive at the behest of the Americans. The Chinese, as expected reacted very quickly and detained two Canadians on espionage and trade delegations from B C and Canada were cancelled. More to come.
Trudeau is facing a weak opposition and may be able to ride this out.
Trump is in trouble. All around him is crumbling as more former employees and close associates find themselves in the cross hairs of the Mueller probe. Papadoploous, Cohen, Flynn and Manafort, sentenced to prison or awaiting sentencing and many others are indicted and still others are under investigations and the Russian " collusion" probe continues with more evidence and the noose is closing on him and members of his family.
All of his businesses are being investigated both federally for campaign finance irregularities and so are his children, especially his son Donald jr. and his son-in law Kushner.
He is tweeting away, thrashing about and insulting the " rats", who have turned state evidence
His popularity is at an all time low, more than 60% say he is a liar and his Chief of Staff is replaced and the Democrats are at the door.
Vox populi; Vox dei.
Women came out and sent a strong message to Trump. 100+ women elected to the House, including the youngest, two Native American; two Muslim and at least one trans.
The voting turnout in raw numbers was high, almost 113 million but this is just about 49% of eligible voters. With voter suppression in N.Dakota ( native Americans living on reservations especially), Georgia ( the Sect. of State, Kemp, who was running for governor, culled the list) . two Democrats, one for Senate and the other for Governor went down to defeat. In Texas the Democrat O'Rourke lost by a slim margin and so too did the Democrat for Senate and for governor.
The Democrats did win power in the House and now has the means to act as a check on the rampaging Trump. They have control of the budget ( no spending on the Wall etc.); they have control of the Committees and can investigate and hold hearings , even bring up impeachment papers against Trump.
The Republicans increased their seat count in the Senate and so Trump can still get his appointees through.. However the Democrats can still act to hold Trump responsible ( can anyone?).
Trump went on a rampage. He attacked those Republicans who lost their seats in the House. It was vicious.
He immediately fired AG. Sessions unceremoniously. and named one of his " attack dogs" to replace him. This has immediately raised concerns about the Mueller investigations.
Then he held a press conference and it all went downhill. He attacked at least 3 reporters who asked him questions he did not like. First it was the personal attack on CNN's Dacosta,( his W H press credential was revoked). He then turned on two non-white women reporters, calling one a " racist and telling both to " Sit Down" ( yes massa).
This aws low and beneath the Office, but the churlish Trump could not be stopped.
He went to the Saudi embassy in Istanbul and disappeared.
Once he was in the inner circle and then he became a critic, albeit not too harsh. He took a moderate line, hoping to influence the new Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who ad announced himself as more willing to ease some of the restrictions, especially on women, even permitting them to drive by themselves.
bin Salman has, however shown himself with his actions against Canada, Qatar, and especially in the genocidal war against Yemen to be anything but. He was volatile, erratic and showed poor judgement and had little or no tact.
His actions against Canad for a tweet fro Chrystia Freeland, the Global Affairs minister was overboard,. She had tweeted her support for women's rights blogger, Badawi , sent bin Salman into a rage. He expelled our ambassador, recalled his, froze trade and investment and ordered Saudi students studying in Canada to return home ( he acted similiarly against Qatar, because he felt that they were becoming too friendly with Iran).
His genocidal war against the Houthis in Yemen has seen women and children slaughtered by weapons sold to him by USA and Britain ( Canada has a deal to sell LAV's but he did not cancel that and neither has Canada so far. He needs them for civilian unrest at home.
The Khashoggi case has been pure savagery, no doubt orchestrated by him, as nothing gets done in that top-down, autocratic government, without approval from above.
The Turkish government and especially the president, Recep Erdogan, have been adamant about the Saudis' involvement in the " savage murder"., From the onset they kept the world informed about what they have found out, with details and pictures. These pictures showed Khashoggi entering the embassy. He had been called in to come andget the necessary papers in order to get married to a Turkish national. He has not been seen since that Oct.2 and the Saudis have come out with a variety of answers when they were questioned about his whereabouts.
First, they said he had left ( they had someone dressed in Khashoggi's clothes leave the embassy by the back door . This speaks volumes.). Then they claimed that there was a fight and he as killed then they changed that and said he was accidentally killed in a choke hold. When all this failed ( as the Turks gave more ad more details, after they were allowed to enter the embassy and do their own investigations...a clean up crew was seen entering the building and the Turks found evidence that they had tried to clean up but they were able to find blood splatters).they finally admitted that a " rogue" element had killed him.
That was another lie. 15 Saudis, including a forensic expert had flown in earlier that day. They had a bone saw with them. They left hours after. Who were they? At least one of them was a close confidant of bin Salman ( he was seen in various pictures accompanying him on various missions abroad).
What happened? It is obvious that they wanted to kidnap and return Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia. But here things get blurry. That he as killed is of no doubt ( the Saudis have admitted that now). How he was killed is not known.
Where is the body? None has been produced and the Turks are saying that he was dismembered and his remains scattered in some nearby forests. ( thus the bone saw and the forensic specialist).
All the efforts by the Saudis are made to shield the Crown Prince bin Salman. Trump has offered them some cover, by first bringing up the " rogue" element and so far has not been willing to hold the Saudis or bin Salman responsible. In this he is joined by one of his senior adviser, his son-in law Jared Kushner, who has established a close relationship with bin Salman. He, Kushner, has become Trump's whisperer. He is also close to Israel and its prime minister Netanyahu and Netanyahu wants to preserve the US/Saudi realstions and their opposition to Iran, which Israel sees as an enemy. He also supports Trump's scrapping the nuclear agreement and bringing back sanctions against Iran.
So America's position and their refusal to call out the Saudis on this brutal, savage killing, is being shaped by Kushner who has dealings with bin Salman and is a known financial and religious backer of Israel.
With the exception of Germany, no other country has ( there were some murmurings from GB and France) has taken a stand afraid of losing their businesses with the Saudis. This is cowardice and it is immoral. Trump has said that he has billions in arms deal that he will not end because of potential jobs' loss and so do the others.
Canada's Trudeau has been a vocal supporter o Human Rights and especially Women's rights and Canada has a LAV deal with the Saudis and has come under attack from them suspending trade and investments, withdrawing students and ambassador.
Canada can lead the way. When the Saudi foreign minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, asked "
are we a banana republic? and questioned our treatment of Quebecers and " Indians", he tried to equate us with a regime that chops off limbs, stone, behead publicly, imprison without trial , , tortures, wage a genocidal war and govern without restraint, doing what they please, we must reply firmly. Cancel the LAV deal, close their embassy, stop buying their oil ( we do not need it ), stop trading with them and show them that we stand for Law and Order, Human Rights and Decency. What can they do?
The voter have spoken, especially those in the Regions, and the Coalition Avenir Quebec, has won an overwhelming victory.( 73/125 seats) and their leader Francois Legault will be the provinces 43rd premier.
Philippe Couillard and his Liberals have gone down to defeat ( 32 seats ) after almost 14 years ( except for a few months of PQ's Marois) and for the first time in almost 50 years, a party other than the Liberals or Parti Quebecois will be in power..
The PQ has suffered its worst defeat since 1970, winning only 9 seats, with its leader JF Lisee, himself going down to defeat, ( like Marois in 2014) and resigning ( like Marois in 2014).
Quebec Solidaire has won 10 seats, a break through ( plus 7), winning seats outside of Montreal...Quebec City, Sherbrooke etc.
The polls were again wrong as they predicted a close race and a minority government, but the CAQ won about 37% of the votes ( the polls had shown them around 31%).
The PQ vote collapsed and that helped the CAQ and the QS as nationalists went to the CAQ and socialists went to QS.
The PQ will lose its official party status in the National Assembly and with that goes financial support. It runs the risk of oblivion, unless some energetic and articulate leader emerges and defines clearly what it stands for ( Lisee was all over the place, desperately trying to please everyone, changing the party platform as the days go by and even to personal and elitist attacks on Manon Masse, the QS outstanding face.
The CAQ appealed to nativism...raising fears of Quebec losing its language, ite culture and its values, thus its identity in the face of the threats from immigrants, refugees, Muslims, " les autres". He campaigned against increased immigration ( the Liberals were concerned with labor shortage due to the growing economy, the low birth rate, the aging population and the need for workers, skilled and unskilled to fill the need). Legault was adamant that Quebec should take in 10,000 less ( from 50,000 to 40,000); that those who came in would have to pass a French proficiency test in 3 years or be deported ( they are protected against this by Sec.6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms). He also wanted to limit the wearing of hijabs in the workplace and most importantly protect " Quebec Values".
His appeal was to the Quebec of the past, with its core religious values; its homogeneity; its language insulated and its identity secured. This was an appeal to nostalgia, to the pre-60s Quebec of family farms, Catholicism, to populism and against the foreign hordes and the frightening new world that is at the gates.
It is reminiscent of the 1944 election, when Maurice Duplessis and his Union National used lies and fears to defeat the Liberal government of Adelard Godbout. Godbout had won the election in 1939 with his support of Canada's entry in WW11 and had governed very competently, introducing many progressive reforms, like giving women the right to vote (1940), founded Hydro Quebec, free education up to grade 7 and a labor code allowing workers to form unions. Duplessis and his wealthy supporters and the Catholic church were adamantly opposed to these " progressive" changes and went on a campaign of fears, lies and against Quebec's support for the war ( PM McKenzie King's "Conscription, If Necessary"). Duplessis falsely accused Godbout of wanting to bring 100,000 Jewish refugees into Quebec, got support from Lionel Groulx and the Catholic church and money poured from wealthy businessmen fearing the workers and their unions. It worked and the Liberals were defeated.
La Grande Noiceur of Roncarelli, Jehovah Witness, Padlock law, communist witch hunt, anti-labor, pro business, anti immigrant became the order of the day until the Supreme Court struck the laws and he died and in 1960 the Liberals under Jean Lesage and his message of Maitre des Chez Nous won and ushered in the Quiet Revolution, which would lead Quebec out of the corrupt, priest-ridden agricultural society of large families and illiteracy to a Quebec with public schools, a new emerging middle class unafraid of technology or business innovation.
Now we are back to fears about identity, language, culture, Quebec values and the need to be protected from Muslims, Immigration, refugees, and the encroaching world of internet, i phones, social media/platforms. Thus language tests, deportations, Quebec values and no hijab in the work place.
Municipalities are creatures of the provincial government Sec. 92 of the Constitution Act ( previously referred to as the British North America Act, 1867, but changed with the patriation of the constitution, 1982), gave powers over municipalities to provinces. This power allow provinces to create, dissolve, reform them as they choose.
What Ontario premier,Doug Ford, wants to do is quite legal/constitutional but the way he chose to do it and the timing of his action, plus personal animus towards the Toronto municipal council ( the various run-ins that he and his brother ( the former mayor Rob), was the problem.
He can reduce the size of the Council from 47 to 25 but he acted rashly. There is an election campaign going on. Candidates are already contesting the 47 seats but he ploughed ahead and the court slapped him down. Judge Belobaba ruled that " passing a law that changes the city's electoral districts in the middle of its election and undermines the overall fairness of the election is antithetical to the core principles of our democracy". Ford went " bananas" and personally attacked the judge ( erroneously), as an appointee of a previous provincial premier, Dalton McGuinty. This is a Superior court judge and these are appointed by the Federal government, but Ford's ignorance did not stop him from repeating it again and again and he then threatened to use the " the notwithstanding clause" to override the court's decision.
Sec. 33 of the Constitution Act 1982, allows provinces to do this, but it was not meant to be used to settle personal vendettas and this is what Ford is doing. This clause has been used rarely since its inclusion in the Constitution. It was a compromise hammered out by the Federal Justice minister Jean Chretien and the Attorney Generals of Ontario (McMurty) and Saskatchewan ( Romanov).
The Constitutional meeting to patriate the Canadian Constitution from Britain was in trouble as the pro- separatist premier of Quebec, Rene Levesque put up many road blocks ( as he said prior to the talks, he was not there to " renew Canada), and the Conservative premiers of NL, Manitoba, Alberta, . PEI and Nova Scotia and the Socred. premier of BC, who opposed individual rights and the NDP premier of Sask. who wanted rights for women, joined forces, ( the so-called Gang of 8). Only Ontario and New Brunswick ( Progressive Conservatives), stood with the Feds.
Many deals and counter deals were proposed and all seemed lost. Then, the meeting in the kitchen, over coffee made the breakthrough compromise, that satisfied all but Levesque. He left in a huff and cried foul ( he was angry because he thought he had a deal with the 7, but they got a better deal. Fuming he came back to Quebec and complained of betrayal and the " Night of the Knives". He was out-pokered). He vowed to use the notwithstanding clause against all future legislation and indeed was the first to use it against the ruling of the Supreme Court over sections of Law 101. He "protected" all Quebec laws by including this clause in all its laws. He acted out of pique . Liberal premier, Robert Bourassa also used it and so did the government of Sask. and Yukon., but all in all its use was rare.
When used, it would last for a maximum of 5 years. It can be reduced, or dropped after this or it had to be renewed for another 5 years. It has never been used in Ontario until now.
When Doug Ford recalled the legislature to pass it, an uproar followed and all NDP members ( who showed their opposition by making noise and thumping their desks were named and escorted out of the chamber by the Sergeant-of Arms . The law will be passed but already the Toronto council and its mayor have challenged in the courts. The show is not over.
The attack on the Courts by Ford has met with criticism from all sides ( except federal Conservative leader Scheer. ). It is not the use of the power but the way it was done. As stated above, the municipalities are " creatures" of the provinces. They give them life and they can take it away or modify them but there is accountability , legal and political. The legal we have seen; the political is yet to come.
What people are concerned about is the threat from Ford to use over and over again. He argues that he was elected( he was not elected Premier. He becomes that as a result of being leader of the majority party) and so can do what he wants and that judges are merely appointed. Simplistic and dangerous. Our system of government is a Constitutional democracy, based upon the Rule of Law and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. There are checks on political as well as legal powers. The checks on political power is the limited term of office and the voters and the powers granted to the Courts by the Constitution. The Courts are limited by the Constitution and by the legislature. No one has absolute power in our system of government. That does not mean that politicians will not bluster and rant and rave and threaten, especially when ignorance abounds.
This phrase came into use in Roman times, when the Senate declared emperor Nero a " hostis publicus" in ad 68 ( Wikipedia). This was done to remove a threat to the republic.
Since then, it has become more sinister as a weapon of demagogues and dictators and those who cast a wide net to entrap anyone they see as an obstacle to their objectives.
It was during the French revolution that its full force and its sinister purpose seen.
The words " ennemi du peuple" were extensively used . On Dec. 25, 1792 Robespierre stated " the revolutionary government owes to the good citizen all the protection of the nation; it owes nothing to the Enemies of the People but death" ( Wikipedia), and many would die after so branded, even Robespierre himself. Included in the political crimes punishable by death were those " spreading false news to divide or trouble the people"( here you can glean the reason for Trump's use of the phrase, against the mainstream media and its reporters.)
In the Russia " vrag naroda" ( Wikipedia) was used by Lenin on Nov.28, 1917, calling for " enemies of the people" to be arrested and brought before the revolutionary court ( enemy of the laborers; enemy of the proletariat, class enemy ).. This phrase was widely used in the Soviet Union and hundred of thousands were killed or sent to the " gulags".
Mao used it in 1957, against " social forces and groups that resist the socialist revolution" and hundreds of thousands died or were " reeducated"
Nazi Germany used it in its plan to RELOCATE Jews to Madagascar " in former times sane people and sane leaders of the peoples made short shrift of the Enemies of the People. They had them either expelled or killed" ( Wikipedia) ( millions would be relocated and murdered).
In the UK , in the aftermath of the referendum on membership of the EU, the Daily Mail, described judges who ruled that leaving would require the consent of the British Parliament, " Enemies of the People".
In the United States, Trump has picked the usage, " the FAKE NEWS media ( nytimes, abc, cbs, cnn, nbc) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people". He has been beating this drum incessantly . Each day that goes by is replete with tweets about the " fake news " and " enemies of the people". It is self serving, dangerous and a threat . He does this to deflect and detract from the reporting on the various investigations on Russian hacking; on possible collusion; on his various relationships with women, who were paid to be silent on their affairs with him; on the people leaving his Administration; on those closely connected to him, who have been found guilty of various crimes and to rouse up and keep his " base'/ of support.
This phrase " enemy of the people" is once again being used to perpetuate divisions; to further ones agenda, either to wrest power or to hold on to power or to be a tool to cast doubts about crimes that may have been committed, or to dull attempts to expose wrongs. It has been used in the Spanish Inquisition; in the Salem " witch trials"; in the French Revolution; in the MC Carthy " witch hunt"; in Nixon's "Watergate' and now by Trump. In all these cases its use has been iniquitous, perfidious and malicious.
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(Fig 2a) The Death of Innocents
Ishwar R. Prashad recently retired from over 47 years of teaching.