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Harper admits he wants to hand-pick judges to fit his political agenda

Well, at least he’s finally honest about it, even if it might have been a slip-up on Harper’s part:

Steven Harper is frankly admitting that he’s looking for judges who will back his law-and-order agenda – and provoking cries from his opponents that he’s trying to subvert the judiciary for political ends. “We are bringing forward laws to make sure that we crack down on crime – that we make our streets and communities safer,” the prime minister declared in the Commons on Wednesday. “We want to make sure our selection of judges is in correspondence with those objectives.”

Harper then realized he might have been a little bit too honest about this and tried to backpedal:

Harper quickly retreated from those blunt remarks…For the rest of the daily question period, he deflected opposition barbs by insisting that he believes in an independent judiciary and merit-based appointments to the bench.

Too late though:

Ed Ratushny, a University of Ottawa law professor, was startled by the baldness of Harper’s assertions. “It’s very unfortunate, turning the judiciary into a political football,” said Ratushny. The Canadian Bar Association, which first raised concerns about Tory judicial policy last fall, was quick to denounce Harper on Wednesday for undermining a long-standing tradition of non-partisanship on the bench. “Canada has always had independent judiciaries,” said bar president Parker MacCarthy. “This could shake Canadians’ confidence in the fairness of our justice system.”

Another example of Harper seeking to copy his American Idol in Bush. Throw out the non-partisan way of picking judges, and copy the American style of making them highly partisan political affairs with the very clear intent of hand-picking the judges you want to impose your values on the society.

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7 comments to Harper admits he wants to hand-pick judges to fit his political agenda

  • “Instead of dealing in Ad Hominem attacks Aaron, as is your forte”

    Do you know what ad hominem is?

    Do you have no response to Marc’s comment, by the way?

  • Marc

    Scott Tribe said:
    “hand-picking the judges you want to impose your values on the society.”

    This is a classical case of the pot calling the kettle black. The stench of hypocrisy is very revolting indeed.

    Here are some Liberal appointments to the Judicial Advisory Committee

    Are thses not partisan Liberals?

    From 2004-2006

    Irene Lewis
    New Brunswick Women’s Liberal Association (1994-1998)

    James Hatton
    Federal Liberal Candidate in the 1988 Federal Election (North Vancouver)

    Sharon Appleyard
    President of 2005-2006 Executive-Liberal Party of Canada (Manitoba)

    Elizabeth Wilson
    Member of interim peers panel for Liberal federal candidates 2006

    Marc Letellier
    $1000 donation to Liberal party of Canada in 2000

    Simon Potter
    prominent Liberal activist as well as being a lobbyist and counsel for Imperial.

    From 2002-2004
    Claudette Tardif
    Currently a Liberal Senator (Alberta) – appointed by Paul Martin

    Lou Salley
    Former Chretien B.C. organizer, B.C. organizer for Dion in 2006

    Rodney Pacholzuk
    Former Organization Chair for the Kelowna Federal Liberal Riding Association

    George Cooper
    New Brunswick Campaign Manager for the Ignatieff Campaign

    Annette Marshall
    Co-chair of the 1993 Liberal Election Campaign – Nova Scotia

    Lorraine Hamilton
    Former President of the Burlington Federal Liberal Association and EA to Paddy Torsney, M.P.

    Roberta Hubley
    Former P.E.I. Liberal MLA

  • WesternGrit

    What gets me about all the poor folks who miss the point when they say “the Liberals did” (appoint judges), is that they forget PoliSci/Civics 101: When MODERATE judges are appointed they are at or near the center of the political spectrum. This allows for judges who can see both sides of the political spectrum (left AND right) and come to a fair, moderate conclusion. What a NDPer or left-leaning judge would do would be the opposite of what a Conservative or right-leaning judge would do.

    As Canadians we need to avoid allowing the NeoCons to swim us towards the “American solution” – which is there NeoCon dreamland where there are only two political forces – the right (conservatives) and the left (democrats/liberals) – and where they can conveniently use their big media propaganda machine to label half the political spectrum as “pinkos”, or “weak-kneed lefties”. The harsh (for the Cons) reality is that the Liberal Party occupies the CENTER of the Canadian political spectrum, and represents the views of moderate Canadians as opposed to either of the extremes.

  • wilson61

    Well, there goes the ‘secret agenda’ talking point.
    Now Libs can get right into Conservatives will take away our rights.
    oh, wait, this is about a crack down on crime – that will make our streets and communities safer.
    Yes, by all means, Libs should oppose making our streets and communities safer, because doing so may be taking away a criminals rights.
    Go for it!!
    Canadians love it when Libs wrap themselves and criminals in the Charter.

  • L. emersonia

    “At least he’s honest about it.” = Harper stepped in his shit. Uh oh.

  • Instead of dealing in Ad Hominem attacks Aaron, as is your forte, go read a blogposting that shows how blatant the Conservatives are going about this – far worse then the Liberals OR the Progressive Conservatives under Mulroney ever did.

  • “…hand-picking the judges you want to impose your values on the society.”

    ‘Cause the Liberals never did that. *cough, Abella*

    Scott, please do give it a rest.

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