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Would you change the Canadian consitution?
Yes, I would add some admendments like "property rights"
19%
 19%  [ 4 ]
Yes, I would remove some parts like "multiculturalism"
9%
 9%  [ 2 ]
Yes, I would do a combination of adding and removing parts of the consitution
66%
 66%  [ 14 ]
No
4%
 4%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 21

Author Message
ezbeatz





Joined: 09 Oct 2008
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votes: 10
Location: Vaughan, ON

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DavidK wrote:
Election of all Judges - No. Less government! Elected judges add to the politics.


I disagree. Judges are appoint by leaders of political parties which already makes the process political. Having judges stand for election separates the process from Premiers and PM which is all to often abused.

Besides, I wouldn't want the family court system to be stack with neo-liberal post-modern feminists and not have a say in that.
Rusty Bedsprings





Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 1629

votes: 5

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate how judges make all the hard decisions in Canada. I elect politicians for a reason and that reason is not so that they can off load their work to left wing judges.
ezbeatz





Joined: 09 Oct 2008
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votes: 10
Location: Vaughan, ON

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rusty Bedsprings wrote:
I hate how judges make all the hard decisions in Canada. I elect politicians for a reason and that reason is not so that they can off load their work to left wing judges.


I concur. Was it the youth crime bill that the supreme court told the House of Commons couldn't pass or something like that. I don't think any non-elected body should have say over an elected body.

Imagine a judge who lets out a criminal who then re-offends. That judges career would be over if he had to stand for elections. I think it would really humble the court systems if the people could fire them.
DavidK





Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1520
Reputation: 68.5
votes: 5
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ezbeatz wrote:
DavidK wrote:
Election of all Judges - No. Less government! Elected judges add to the politics.


I disagree. Judges are appoint by leaders of political parties which already makes the process political. Having judges stand for election separates the process from Premiers and PM which is all to often abused.

Besides, I wouldn't want the family court system to be stack with neo-liberal post-modern feminists and not have a say in that.


How do you feel elected judges would change that? You’ll still have Liberal judges, regardless. In Ontario, it is a given! Elections will just add more Liberals.
FF_Canuck





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 3360
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votes: 17
Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Constitutional Changes Reply with quote

I hope you don't mind to much nitpickery, but for clarity, our individual rights laid out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (CCRF or 'Charter'), which is enshrined in our Constitution. Our Constitution is a mish-mash of many statutes dating back to 1867, as well as case law and common law, and sets out, among other things, the structure of the federal government, the role of the court system, the division of powers between levels of government, and formulas for how the Constitution itself may be ammended. Very little of the structure of government is set out in the Charter, rather than the Constitution. It is important to realize the distinction between Charter and Constitution in such discussions. More pedantry follows...
ezbeatz wrote:
Individual rights
-the right to bear arms for self defense
-property rights
I agree, and these are related to each other. I'd alter the wording for right to bear arms, maybe. No need to use phrasings that's over 250 years old.
ezbeatz wrote:
-the right of free speech
While I think I know what you're getting at, we already have the right to freedom of expression in the Charter. The various HRCs' abuses of charter rights have not yet been tested by an actual court - and the HRCs probably want to keep it that way.
ezbeatz wrote:
-the right of marriage between a man and a woman
-the right of the unborn
-various family rights like the right for equal time with children in the event of divorce
These are all very specific policies that are generally performed by statute or regulation, rather than Constitutional law. There is currently no 'right to marriage' within the Charter, as it would be both a positive, and collective, right. With only one exception that I can think of, our Constitution is based around defining individual, negative rights, and rightfully so. I offer the same criticism for including 'family rights'.

As to the right of the unborn, this basis for abortion law is within the charter: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

Abortion restrictions in general are not unconstitutional, by judicial fiat or legal opinion. The last legislation Canada had regarding abortion was found to be unconstitutional due to the unique cruelty of the process for getting one. If your goal is anything but a total ban on abortions of any kind, there is no need to amend the constitution. I speaking only the law here, nothing else. Moving on...
ezbeatz wrote:
Collective rights
You'd probably want to rephrase this - in context, collective rights are rights that are granted not to people, but groups. No individual can exercise and collective right, and they come into direct conflict with individual rights - indeed, the purpose of creating a 'Collective Right' is to override the right of an individual. There is a reason that unions are always talking about 'Collective bargaining rights'. Another would be the collective rights of Indian Treaty signatories (this is the exception where our Constitution guarantees collective rights, through enshrining the Indian Act)...
ezbeatz wrote:
-an amendment to limit the government financially in terms of the amount of annual deficit, tax increases, or printing of money per year ... set deficit barrier at 0.25-0.5% of GDP annually, tax increases at 1% GDP annually, and printing of money at 1% of total currency.
This is a very interesting idea. It would be an interesting ammendment to our Constitution, rather than the Charter itself.
ezbeatz wrote:
-Elections for the following: Supreme/Court of Appeal/Superior/Family Law Judges
-Elections for all Senators
Nothing to say, except that this would be again in the larger Constitution, rather than the Charter.
ezbeatz wrote:
-Elections for Police chiefs (regional, municipal, provincial)

Provincial rights
-the right for provinces to raise their own armed forces and provincial police forces (like the OPP and national guard)
Under the Constitution, provinces are responsible for policing, so they do have the 'right' to have provincial police forces. The reason many do not is partly financial - the Western and Atlantic provinces contract these services to the RCMP, which allows for cheaper costs per officer due to many factors. Further, this why it may be unwise to mandate elected police chiefs.

Thanks for the post, this is a good thing to be discussing!
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
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votes: 35
Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Constitutional Changes Reply with quote

FF_Canuck wrote:
Thanks for the post, this is a good thing to be discussing!

Agreed. The Constitution is flawed and everyone knows it. Perhaps we can come up with a way to address some of the most glaring flaws.

-Mac
Hasdrubal





Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 1112
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votes: 5
Location: Nova Scotia

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rusty Bedsprings wrote:
I don't care if Britains net worth is -2 Penny's, I will never leave her.

You may have no choice in the matter, her future lies with the European Union.
SFrank85





Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2269
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votes: 4
Location: Toronto - Scarborough Southwest

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Constitutional Changes Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
FF_Canuck wrote:
Thanks for the post, this is a good thing to be discussing!

Agreed. The Constitution is flawed and everyone knows it. Perhaps we can come up with a way to address some of the most glaring flaws.

-Mac


First and foremost, the amending formula needs to be changed. We run the risk of being political held down because of it.
FF_Canuck





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 3360
Reputation: 73.4
votes: 17
Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The amending formulae need revisiting, I agree. There is a very careful balance to be had in ensuring that it can be changed, without making it too easy to do so. Obviously, PET 'erred' too far in favour of stability. I'd favour formulae that are less reliant on provincial governments, and more reliant on citizens, myself. Perhaps a double majority by referenda, rather than the current 7/50 rule (2/3 of the provincial governments, representing 50% of the population)?

Ie. 50+1% of the vote overall, and a majority vote in 50+1% of provinces? Basically, this would mean a plebiscite in which the overall vote was majority support, and the majority support in at least 6 provinces. This makes it impossible for the premiers to 'kill' an ammendment, while still requiring broad based support for any amendment. No one region can claim hegemony in the process, and it would be difficult to pass an ammendment without substantial support in every region.

Of course, to amend the amending formula would require the consent of the governments of Ontario and Quebec (using the current formula), so this change would never happen.

Other changes I would make? Scrapping the POGG clause, removing (or extending) sunset clauses from not-withstanding legislation, broad Senate reform, and introducing property rights.
Rusty Bedsprings





Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 1629

votes: 5

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hasdrubal wrote:
Quote:
You may have no choice in the matter, her future lies with the European Union.


Why does the european union have anything to do with Canada staying a dominion of Britain?
Cocked and Locked





Joined: 04 Feb 2009
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votes: 1

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello ezbeatz:

With regard to your poll, I submit the following:

Individual rights
-the right to bear arms for self defense
-the right of free speech
-property rights
-the right of marriage between a man and a woman
-the right of the unborn
-various family rights like the right for equal time with children in the event of divorce
Supreme Court Judges
Court of Appeal Judges
Superior Court Judges
Family Law Judges
All Senators (if we keep the Senate)
Regional, Municipal, Provincial, and National Police Chiefs

I would add Police Chief to the list of elected officials. The problem that we have in Canada is that we have a politically appointed judiciary from the Justice of the peace all the way to the Supreme Court. To add insult to injury we also have politically appointed heads of Law Enforcement, from small town municipal forces all the way to the RCMP. Go ahead somebody tell me that Fantino’s appointment was not political. The aforementioned appointees only have to appease their political masters. The electorate of this country do not have an avenue of appeal, or a method of impeachment against a recalcitrant Police Chief or Judge.

A case in point with the judiciary. We have enshrined in Canadian Law minimum sentencing. These provisos in the law were placed there by the legislators. That would be the rightful duty of the sitting MPs in the House whose roll is to enact legislation and pass it into law. The roll of the judiciary is to take these laws and apply them to convicted criminals on sentencing in a court of law irregardless of their personally held beliefs.

Judges however have consistently shown to be loathe to use the minimum sentencing provisions as set out in the law. In some cases the reasons given by the offending Justices have been that their roll as they see it is to interpret the law, not so. That responsibility lies with the electorate through their elected representatives. My personal belief is the judiciary will not use the minimum sentencing portion of the law because they simply will not be told what to do. Second to that they cannot be held accountable by the electorate. These learned elitists have a strong territorial imperative and a sincere disdain for anyone who invades their perceived domain, that is their divine right to sit in judgement of those beneath their particular station in life.

The concept of an elected judiciary is far and away much too much an “American” ideology. I would opine that this is not a stretch our Constitution and Charter of rights harken right back to the Magna Carta as do our American Cousins Bill of Rights. Our mutual Constitutions have evolved from British Common Law. If democracy works for the leaders of our North American society I see no reason why it will not work for our choice in the Judiciary and Law Enforcement of our country.

If a Judge, or Police Chief/ Sheriff were to run for election in the U.S. New England states he would by his arrest or conviction record as the case might be he/she would have to be a leftist Liberal or he/she would not win the election. Contrarily if a Judge, or Police Chief/ Sheriff were to run for election in the American southwest he would have to be a right wing Conservative or he would not win.

My thoughts.
IanM





Joined: 28 Jan 2009
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votes: 7
Location: The centre of the universe

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would add the following things ;

1 - Property rights.
2 - Right to bear arms.
3 - Budgetary Limits - No deficit above 5% of budget, No surplus above 5% of budget.
4 - Federal Policing to be performed by the RCMP vice Municipal / Provincial Forces.
5 - Stronger Emergency Act regulations, to be included in the Constitution.
6 - Flat taxation.
7 - Elimination of customs duties and tariffs for goods entering or leaving Canada.
8 - Right to open shop, Right to work, Right not to associate with a Union, Right to opt out of Collective Bargaining.
9 - Removal of the Unification Boondoggle of the Canadian Forces, we will have a Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force once more.
10 - Appointment of a political cabinet (as we have now), as well as a cabinet made up of the heads of each government department, so that we have a unbiased public service.
11- Elimination of any user fees or processing fees for government documentation.
12 - Allowing full ownership of of corporations by non Canadians.
13 - Providing Anti Trust regulations, as well as a check against the government against interfering with commerce.
14 - Removing Campaign Finance Laws on Donations and Spending Limits (Tax deductible to a certain amount)
15 - Removing the means test to government services (Student Loans, CPP, Welfare / still has it, however EI Does not)
16 - Raising the Cap on CPP and EI deductions at a flat rate. (No more cap at 40k +/- )
17 - Removal of Hate Crimes Laws, as well as ensuring our charter rights.
18 - Ensuring a Separation of Church and State.
19 - On personal income, a removal of the Capital Gains Tax.
20 - A maximum of excise taxes to 20% the value of a product.
21 - Transferring Education, Health Care, Justice, Motor Vehicle Regulations to the Federal Government Level.
22 - Canadian Law stays Canadian, Crimes committed outside of Canada will not be prosecuted by Canadian Authorities, with the exception of course of Military Personnel and Government Employees / Persons acting on behalf of the Government of Canada.
23 - The right of Citizenship to Any Citizen of the British Commonwealth, or the United States of America.
25 - A prohibition on Nationalization of any industry, property, business or person unless so ordered by an order of council, and only during times of National Emergency. Any nationalization will of course first be proceeded by a willing buyer / willing seller, or negotiations for the business to remain private yet be used at the government. If Nationalization should be needed, full and fair cost plus plus pricing will be used to ensure the rights of business and trade are respected.


I would change the following things;
1 - More emphasis on the Federal Government vice the Provinces.
2 - English as the Official Language.
3 - The name of course going back to the Dominion of Canada.

I would keep the Senate Unelected, as well as remove their term limits / mandatory retirements. I would however divest the power to appoint the Senate to provinces, the Senate of course being a form for regional interests / regional representation at large, while the Legasla
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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votes: 35
Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IanM wrote:
I would add the following things ;

1 - Property rights.
2 - Right to bear arms.
3 - Budgetary Limits - No deficit above 5% of budget, No surplus above 5% of budget.
4 - Federal Policing to be performed by the RCMP vice Municipal / Provincial Forces.
5 - Stronger Emergency Act regulations, to be included in the Constitution.
6 - Flat taxation.
7 - Elimination of customs duties and tariffs for goods entering or leaving Canada.
8 - Right to open shop, Right to work, Right not to associate with a Union, Right to opt out of Collective Bargaining.
9 - Removal of the Unification Boondoggle of the Canadian Forces, we will have a Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force once more.
10 - Appointment of a political cabinet (as we have now), as well as a cabinet made up of the heads of each government department, so that we have a unbiased public service.
11- Elimination of any user fees or processing fees for government documentation.
12 - Allowing full ownership of of corporations by non Canadians.
13 - Providing Anti Trust regulations, as well as a check against the government against interfering with commerce.
14 - Removing Campaign Finance Laws on Donations and Spending Limits (Tax deductible to a certain amount)
15 - Removing the means test to government services (Student Loans, CPP, Welfare / still has it, however EI Does not)
16 - Raising the Cap on CPP and EI deductions at a flat rate. (No more cap at 40k +/- )
17 - Removal of Hate Crimes Laws, as well as ensuring our charter rights.
18 - Ensuring a Separation of Church and State.
19 - On personal income, a removal of the Capital Gains Tax.
20 - A maximum of excise taxes to 20% the value of a product.
21 - Transferring Education, Health Care, Justice, Motor Vehicle Regulations to the Federal Government Level.
22 - Canadian Law stays Canadian, Crimes committed outside of Canada will not be prosecuted by Canadian Authorities, with the exception of course of Military Personnel and Government Employees / Persons acting on behalf of the Government of Canada.
23 - The right of Citizenship to Any Citizen of the British Commonwealth, or the United States of America.
25 - A prohibition on Nationalization of any industry, property, business or person unless so ordered by an order of council, and only during times of National Emergency. Any nationalization will of course first be proceeded by a willing buyer / willing seller, or negotiations for the business to remain private yet be used at the government. If Nationalization should be needed, full and fair cost plus plus pricing will be used to ensure the rights of business and trade are respected.


I would change the following things;
1 - More emphasis on the Federal Government vice the Provinces.
2 - English as the Official Language.
3 - The name of course going back to the Dominion of Canada.

I would keep the Senate Unelected, as well as remove their term limits / mandatory retirements. I would however divest the power to appoint the Senate to provinces, the Senate of course being a form for regional interests / regional representation at large, while the Legasla

Being the pragmatic type, I would be happy to see the government tackling any of these items but I suspect that would take a majority.

-Mac
don muntean





Joined: 07 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ezbeatz wrote:
Any parts of the current constitution you would like to see removed?

Me personally, I would love to see multiculturalism removed.


I'd like to see some leaders actually take our so-called constitution seriously - actually see that it means something otherwise any changes are moot...

SECTION 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

"Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment..."

don muntean





Joined: 07 Sep 2006
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Location: Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Constitutional Changes Reply with quote

FF_Canuck wrote:
ezbeatz wrote:
Collective rights
You'd probably want to rephrase this - in context, collective rights are rights that are granted not to people, but groups. No individual can exercise and collective right, and they come into direct conflict with individual rights - indeed, the purpose of creating a 'Collective Right' is to override the right of an individual.


Well stated - we already have enough group rights - even in Alberta the human rights act which was called the Individual Rights Protection Act - was in 1996 amended to become the Human rights Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act - unfortunately the Ralph Klein government did not make fair changes [I could say more about that] - as evidenced by the new title!
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