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Jagmeet Singh Should Appeal to the Governor General
Don't want an election? Ask the GG for a public inquiry into Chinese electoral interference
The Governor General (GG) is a ceremonial role in Canada. But this wasn't always the case. Conventions dictate that the GG stay out of politics. But whose interests does that serve?
In Canada’s founding debates, it was clear. Canada would be protected from excessive democratic means by a strong monarchical element.
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This no longer seems to be the case.
Democracy is exalted like the Virgin Mary. So you can be sure that whenever you hear "threat to democracy," they mean a threat to the establishment. A threat to their interests.
Uh-oh, getting pretty conspiratorial over here. Let's go woke and ask ChatGPT if there is such a thing as an establishment.
"Yes, the term "establishment" is often used to refer to a group of influential people or organizations that hold significant power and influence in society. This can include individuals or groups from political, economic, cultural, or educational spheres who have established themselves as dominant actors in society.
The idea of an "establishment" is based on the assumption that power is concentrated among a small group of elites who work together to maintain their position of authority and protect their interests. This can involve coordination between members of the establishment to influence government policies, control the media narrative, and shape public opinion.
While the existence and influence of the establishment may be debated, many scholars and commentators argue that there are identifiable groups and networks of powerful individuals and organizations who hold significant sway over the direction of society."
It is hard to believe anyone denies the existence of a ruling class. We're not talking about Illuminati moon-landing hoax stuff. At the local level, it's your old boys' group. At the national level, it's the Laurentian elite.
The 21st Century Social Democrat
Of course, ruling classes exist. But as our AI friend says, the influence of these groups and networks is debated. Yet there is a particular narrative. A shared opinion among wealthy people, especially those with wealth and power.
You can see it on the small, petty level. Middle-class urbanite "progressives" who snub their noses at the rural folk. Slap a "Farmers Feed Cities" bumper sticker on their car but vote for politicians destroying the family farm.
Demand the rich pay their fair share without defining coherently what they mean by rich or fair.
Jagmeet Singh, leader of the federal NDP, is undoubtedly one of these elitist urbanites. A former Toronto lawyer, he drives a BMW and wears a Rolex.
When an authentic protest erupted among the Canadian working class, our pal Jag accused them of racism and arson. When Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act against them, Jagmeet was there to cheer him on.
Indeed, Trudeau needs the NDP's support to rule like he has a majority government.
And so far, Jagmeet's giving it to him. Giving it to him hard. Lambasting the PM all over Twitter and in the House of Commons but doing shit all do put actual pressure on him.
The NDP could have at least gotten two or three cabinet positions, right? I mean, jeez, Jagmeet. Are you really this easy? I bet you fuck on the first date.
But now we have election interference. How widespread? As Terry Glavin pointed out in the National Post, even without a public inquiry, it’s not great. Far worse than anything anyone had on Donald Trump and the Russians.
Is Trudeau a Communist?
Have you ever come across someone that loves communism, like how some people are Beatles fans?
Truth be told, I used to be that guy. As a teenager, I wore the hammer and sickle on a t-shirt. I admired Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. I ignored Mao's murders. I played into the "good Lenin, bad Stalin" theory of what happened in Soviet Russia.
I fantasized that if I had been Khrushchev in the 1960s, I would have mandated consumer goods and better housing instead of competing with the American military-industrial complex.
I fantasized how – once the system was working – I would have decentralized the system into workers' councils, precisely what the word soviet means.
Anyway, Trudeau is this kind of person. I'm not saying he's a communist. He's too dumb to understand Karl Marx.
I'm sure his father Pierre, for all his faults, taught him... well shit, what did Pierre teach Justin about free markets? Anything good? Anything at all?
Old man Elliott Trudeau was a communist sympathizer himself. He once remarked to a friend in 1964, "When you see mass rallies with Fidel Castro speaking for 90 minutes in 100 degree heat you wonder what is the need for elections."
I can see Justin saying something like that. Pierre is often touted as the brains. He had intellect his son Justin severely lacks.
And while this may be true, it's that particular brand of smug ruling-class leftism that Pierre Trudeau was an expert in. The kind of ideology and reinforcing social bubble that propels you to say something like: "We have a great deal to learn from the Soviet Union."
True. If you count the negative ones. As in what not to do. But Pierre Elliott Trudeau said this while the USSR still existed. He was undoubtedly a fan of peaking behind the Iron Curtain and taking notes.
By the time the Berlin Wall fell, Justin Trudeau was on the eve of his 18th birthday. Do you think he ever comprehended the failure of the command-and-control economy? His actions as prime minister indicate he has not.
Of course, he's not alone. While cold-war Marxism-Leninism is out of fashion, new theories are making the rounds. Corporate and state power masquerading as woke leftists concerned with the environment.
If Pierre Elliott Trudeau were alive today, would he be “woke,” or would he sound more like Rex Murphy?
Like his son, the old man would be an environmentalist. Which translates into: I’ll fly on my private jet around the world to conduct business while you stay home and eat bugs.
He’d be on dozens of boards, pushing pharmaceuticals, investing in weed companies, and surrounded by an entourage of private armed security guards while extolling the “success” of gun control in Canada.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau would be one of these smug ruling-class leftists that aren’t really leftists at all.
The Union of Canadas
There are clearly many aspects to living in society.
You've got yourself, an individual, your family, friends, the neighbourhood you live in, the community you live in, and the communities of your interests and hobbies (including online).
And there are political identities. Your province and country. Some people are passionate about municipal politics. I'd be a hypocrite if I criticized them. But local patriotism is different from engaging in municipal politics.
Imagine a world where everyone's tax burden was essentially zero. But where there were elites in every town, city or collection of rural villages and communities to govern their respective areas.
There are already elites. In every society, no matter how big or small.
But in this world, tax money that was once siphoned from millions of people and coordinated into a centralized machine has been disabled. It remains with the people
The map looks like Europe.
We're still in a "Canada" union. We still like playing the national anthem and eating poutine.
Or do we? I'm willing to bet many people wouldn't want to be part of the Canada union.
And what do we do about the vast stretches of land up North?
Okay, we'll keep the federal government. For now. But we should remember what the 1940 Royal Commission reported,
"British North American governments did not concern themselves with the daily regulation of the daily pursuits of the people... They took seriously their responsibilities for defence and maintaining internal order but they carried them out with frugal care."
So these new "Canada" union governments should be limited. What about the social safety net?
Communities support each other because they have the financial means. No one taxes them excessively or reduces their purchasing power via inflation.
Free and fair markets provide money and banking.
Civic institutions and organizations like the Lions Club, Odd Fellows, and Rebekahs expand their influence and reach. Funding hospitals and schools.
Your local elites aren't bad people. If you make money in the market without special government privileges, you're a "natural" elite. You've shown that you can transform resources into goods people are willing to buy.
All power to you. Literally.
Okay, not literally. We still have the Western legal tradition. Everyone is equal under the eyes of the law.
But what does that mean? Like so much from the 19th century, we have to undo some damage.
The 19th Century is When Things Starting Going Wrong
Think about it. In the 19th century, we started pumping carbon into the atmosphere. An experiment in planet terraforming future generations to deal with.
After Napoleon, Europe was mostly peaceful. Still, they participated in arms build-up that, along with industrialization, resulted in the total wars and genocide of the 20th century.
In the 19th century, European intellectuals fell in love with the idea of applying scientific terms to their biases.
They invented phrenology, saying the shape and size of a person's skull could determine their intelligence, personality, and moral character. Phrenologists believed that the heads of different "races" showed distinct differences in size and shape.
They used this "evidence" to argue that some races were inherently superior to others.
Also, in the 19th century, a legal revolution occurred that undid 600+ years of tradition.
There used to be many overlapping, competing legal jurisdictions. Literally hundreds of courts: shire, manorial, urban, ecclesiastical, mercantile, the King's bench, common pleas, exchequer, chancery, etc.
These courts had fluid jurisdictional boundaries and collected their fees from the litigants, so many competed with each other for business.
And what was the goal of these for-profit judicial courts? Resolve the conflict peacefully.
Violence is unpredictable and bad for business. It wasn't the rich buying the legal system (as it is now) because a decentralized network of competitors saw fairness and impartiality as critical to their reputation.
The business model relied on this reputation of fairness and impartiality.
Tax-supported courts of monopolistic jurisdiction are a new phenomenon born of this 19th-century judicial revolution.
We are compelled to pay for them. They cannot go bankrupt. A level of arbitrariness enters into their definition of fairness and impartiality. Further corrupted by then new phenomenon of establishing precedence.
With the Judicature Act of 1873 and the Appellate Jurisdiction Act of 1876, England and Wales monopolized the courts into a single hierarchical structure. With American and Canadian courts following suit soon after.
Now everything is financed by the taxpayer. But you can't stop the market. As bureaucratic courts clog up, lawyers and litigants move to third-party arbitrators.
I could go on for hours about this. But the point is, we live in a liberal democracy. We have the tools to fix this.
The problem is the masses are captivated by a ruling class ideology.
One that says humans are like a virus on the planet and that our environmental issues stem from capitalism. An ideology that blends civil society with the state, leaving no room for market-based solutions.
Money, one side of every transaction, is issued and manipulated by banks and bureaucrats, and nobody bats an eye. Inflation is apparently a problem of “corporate greed.”
Did Jagmeet ever come across this history in law school? About how forgoing 600+ years of legal tradition for "the public good" actually caused excessive greenhouse gas emissions?
Pollution, after all, is a violation of someone's clean air.
Farmers used to take railways that left soot on their crops to court. The courts would reward them with an injunction against the railroad.
So, obviously, democratic politicians needed to monopolize the courts. For the "common good” of industry and jobs.
Now we're in a "climate emergency." The same all-knowing, all-powerful democratic state must step in and prevent "capitalism" from destroying the planet.
George Carlin should be mandatory viewing.
So, now finally, we get to election interference. If you've skipped your way here, no problem. But truth be told, there's nothing I can't tell you that you probably haven't already read.
So let's go back to 1926 instead.
Governor General Lord Byng refused to dissolve Parliament at the request of the Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King.
The Liberal Party, led by King, held a minority government and faced a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons. King requested that Lord Byng dissolve Parliament and call for new elections, hoping to win a majority.
However, Lord Byng refused, arguing that he’d be playing politics by doing so. King clearly wanted the election. The monarch’s representative essentially told King to make Parliament work.
The incident became known as the "King-Byng Affair," which sparked a constitutional crisis in Canada.
King accused Lord Byng of overstepping his bounds and interfering in politics. At the same time, Lord Byng defended his actions as being in line with his responsibilities as Governor-General.
In the end, King's government fell, and a new election was called, which was won by the Conservative Party under Arthur Meighen.
The King-Byng Affair had significant implications for the role of the GG in our political system. New conventions demanded the Governor General to generally agree with the prime minister. Although they could refuse in exceptional circumstances.
The Governor General's role was to remain largely ceremonial and symbolic. To this day, interfering with politics is taboo.
If they do get involved, the Governor General is expected to act with caution and impartiality. They are to consider the views of all parties involved and avoid any appearance of partisanship.
Jagmeet Should Appeal to the Governor General
As tempting as it is to counter the modern conventions and defend a more interventionalist role consistent with the notion of responsible government, this piece is already long.
Besides, how likely is it for Jagmeet to follow my advice anyway? So let's stay conventional.
Jag can at least ask the Governor General to consider whether the entire China-Trudeau relationship is an exceptional circumstance. Coupled with at least two compromised elections, this warrants a public inquiry, no?
This way, Jagmeet can have his cake and eat it too.
He doesn't have to spark a no-confidence vote in the House because election integrity is the issue.
We can’t have an election if the problem hasn’t been solved. The Chinese may hand Trudeau a majority.
So Jag can make himself look like the good guy without really doing anything. He can walk over to Rideau Hall and knock on the door.
“Yo, Mary Simon, you there?”
Jag's not asking the GG to open a public inquiry without Parliament's approval. He's asking the Governor General to consider the possibility.
Maybe Chinese electoral interference is one of these exceptional circumstances where she can lawfully exercise her reserve powers.
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