My constitution can beat your constitution


Locutus
#1

Ezra Levant ‏@ezralevant

Fair criticisms here. But I do like our ease of impeaching our PMs, and I prefer our Queen to their Emperor. #cdnpoli http://www.politibrew.com/politics/200-o-s-extra-constitutional-reign-a-canam-view Ö


O's Extra-constitutional Reign: A CanAm View



Sun News' Ezra Levant interviews a DC law Professor from George Mason University School of Law, Frank Buckley. Although Buckley is Canadian, he lives and teaches in the DC area. He makes some interesting observations about the American Presidency fast becoming a "crown" government. Boy...haven't we all been saying that...although you would probably agree that it is more like an out and out dictatorship.

Buckley briefly compares the Canadian and US constitutional systems in this segment. He claims that the Canadian constitution is superior. He must be friends with Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg...I wonder if he's been slated for an interview with Nile TV in Cairo. I think he is full of well...you know. But I digress.

Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a tortured and contorted lumbering mess of competing rights claims in comparison to the US Bill of Rights. Canada's British based parliamentary system of governance is fairly laudable, with divisions of powers. But it has a reverse Tenth Amendment...that is...all powers not designated to the Provinces go to the "general" government, i.e. the federal government; surely a magnet for abuse.

And built into the Canadian Constitution of 1982 is a "transfer" system...in other words, we have a redistribution of wealth system that takes money from the "have" provinces and gives it to the "have not" provinces; an abusive entitlement system for provincial leaders if ever one could be devised. And there are a few lazy provincial leaders unwilling to exploit their own natural resources to become energy independent...Quebec and Nova Scotia come to mind. Quebec always sucks at the teat of the Feds and what we call "The Rest of Canada". Those dirty oil Albertans can pay for lazy Quebec Marxist radicals by giving them cheaper University subsidized by oil through the transfer system.

However...Buckley does make a good point: Canada's parliamentary system can jettison a Prime Minister or his government almost on notice through a thing called a "non-confidence" motion. Non-confidence motions occur mostly with a minority government like what occurred just yesterday in Ontario. Ontario's minority New Democratic Party, holding a balance of power with the Progressive Conservatives, declared no confidence in the Liberal government's budget. Non-confidence usually occurs on budget motions. Ontario goes to the polls in about six weeks.

In another way also, Canada's constitutional system takes a burden off of the executive; Canada does not have a magisterial Prime Minister, but a Queen and a Governor General to fulfill that roll. In America...that roll is unfortunately fulfilled by a President who goes to Hollywood parties...or has the Hollywood parties come to him.

So there are some interesting points here in the clip. It is certain that Ezra Levant does not believe the BS about a superior Canadian constitutional system...but he's good to his guests and he picks his fights. Many times he has extolled the betterness of the US system...but unfortunately a constitution is only as good as it's people...something John Adams warned against.

video at link:

O's Extra-constitutional Reign: A CanAm View
 
BaalsTears
#2
The US Constitution was designed specifically to prevent the concentration of power. In order to accomplish this objective it created an unwieldy governmental apparatus intended to advance the ideal of individual liberty. But no organic law can be effective when the character of the citizenry and their habits of mind abandon the ideal of individual liberty.

De Tocqueville warned Americans about this threat in Democracy in America. He observed that representative republics have a tendency to degenerate into a form of soft despotism. This is what has happened to the United States. De Tocqueville was prescient:

"...After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
I have always thought that servitude of the regular, quiet, and gentle kind which I have just described might be combined more easily than is commonly believed with some of the outward forms of freedom, and that it might even establish itself under the wing of the sovereignty of the people.
Our contemporaries are constantly excited by two conflicting passions: they want to be led, and they wish to remain free. As they cannot destroy either the one or the other of these contrary propensities, they strive to satisfy them both at once. They devise a sole, tutelary, and all-powerful form of government, but elected by the people. They combine the principle of centralization and that of popular sovereignty; this gives them a respite: they console themselves for being in tutelage by the reflection that they have chosen their own guardians. Every man allows himself to be put in leading-strings, because he sees that it is not a person or a class of persons, but the people at large who hold the end of his chain..."

Volume II, Book 4, Chapter 6 of Democracy in America.

The primary difference between democracy in Canada and democracy in the United States is that Canada has a people who still support popular sovereignty in practice. The US doesn't have a majority who support popular sovereignty, and who are prepared to defend it even at the cost of their own short term gain.

In the present era, the only way in which the US Constitution is superior to the Canadian Constitution is in the realm of free speech. The Canadian Human Rights Commission effectuates the subordination of free speech to bureaucratic power at the behest of nut jobs. Check it out:

Idiot's Guide to Completely Idiotic Canadian 'Human Rights' Tribunals | National Review Online
 
Colpy
Conservative
+1
#3  Top Rated Post
The parliamentary system, if it avoids too much party discipline, is much superior to the US Republican system.

The US Bill of Rights is much much superior to the Canadian Charter.
 
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