Democracy, Harper Style

From CP at The Star:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has officially named Thomas Cromwell of Nova Scotia to the Supreme Court of Canada, forgoing a public hearing that had been promised into his appointment.

Cromwell, a widely respected former judge of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, will take the seat that came open earlier this year with the resignation of Michel Bastarache.

The prime minister named Cromwell as his choice for the top court in September just before the last federal election.

But the appointment was put on hold pending a public hearing by an all-party parliamentary committee – a process Harper had wanted to follow for all his nominees to the Supreme Court.

Creation of the committee was delayed by the election campaign, then delayed again when Harper suspended Parliament until the new year to avert a confidence vote that threatened to topple his minority Conservative government.

Cromwell has missed the fall session of the court that began in October. He would have missed another session that begins in mid-January if there had been any further delay.

Hmm, let’s see.  Stephen Harper promised a public hearing before appointing a new Justice of the Supreme Court.  But the hearing was delayed because he called an election that he’d promised not to call for another year.  Then, the hearing was delayed again when he forced the Governor General to prorogue Parliament.  It’s probably a good idea to appoint Thomas Cromwell now rather than letting the Court go without a judge for another session.  But who bears the responsibility for having to do it without the public hearing?

Then there’s the fact that Harper has been front and center demanding change to the role of the Senate and the manner of selecting Senators.  Now, Harper is galloping towards the goal of appointing c(C)onservatives to the Senate just as fast as he can.  And Mike Duffy?  Gimme a break.

Dawg has some better ideas.

The election that no one wanted and few people voted in, the prorogation?  Both have worked well for King Stephen.  Neither worked well for democracy.

UPDATE:  From James Laxer

And congratulations to Harper’s 18 new senators. Now that Mike Duffy is in the Senate, he can interview himself about the ethics of a Prime Minister who prorogued parliament to prevent his government from being defeated on a vote a confidence but feels free to anoint Senators before parliament resumes and he receives that vote of confidence.

At least I won’t have to go racing for my remote to get Duffy’s face out of mine anymore.

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