Letter to Canada's Governor General Re: Constitutionality of Senate Appointments

December 16, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

December 16, 2008

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
Governor General of Canada
Rideau Hall
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A1


It was reported today that Mr. Jack Layton, the leader of the New Democratic Party (“NDP”) has provided you with a copy of his letter of even date to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. It would appear that he has done so in the hope that you will refuse to appoint any Senators until after the House of Commons has, by means of a vote in the new year, expressed its confidence in the government. Mr. Layton was today quoted as having said:

[Prime Minister Harper] ducked the test, the fundamental test of his legitimacy to make these recommendations through a prorogation (of Parliament) and he’s now pretending that he has the full legitimacy to move forward. This is an abuse of his power.

Reportedly, Mr. Layton asserts that a letter allegedly signed by a majority of Members of Parliament (“MPs”), demonstrates that the government has lost the confidence of the House.

Excellency, I am writing to submit to you that Mr. Layton’s submissions are incorrect as a matter of both fact and law, and to express my concern that, were you to refuse the appointment of Senators on the ground that the government lacks the confidence of the house; or were you to refuse on the ground that the government must first demonstrate, through vote, that it has the confidence of the House; a precedent would be set that could undermine our system of Responsible Government for years to come. Read more

Hypocrisy Watch: Liberals Cannot Condemn Conservative Senate Appointments

December 12, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

Today, the National Post editorial board published an editorial that, in effect, argues that the Prime Minister of Canada, Conservative party leader Stephen Harper, should not fill the 18 vacancies in Canada’s 105 seat “upper chamber”, the Senate. They fear that doing so in the weeks leading up to a confidence vote on the budget might result in public discontent, and that such discontent might have the effect of breathing some air into a Liberal-NDP “coalition” that will probably otherwise die after a Michael Ignatieff-led Liberal party votes in favour of the budget. In other words: they fear that filling the vacancies might cause the Liberals to vote-down the budget in January, and trigger an election in which a Liberal leader who has not yet humiliated himself does battle with Harper.

Their fear is misplaced. The Prime Minister should fill the vacancies. At the same time, the Conservatives – and the National Post – should nip in the bud the Liberals most likely argument: the idea that the Conservative government lacks the confidence of the House such that it is wrong – morally if not also legally – to appoint Senators before the budget vote passes. In particular, they should remind everyone of a little history. Read more

Don't Ask Governor General to Prorogue (or: Striking While the Iron's Hot)

December 4, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

It has been reported that Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, will meet with the Governor General of Canada this morning (December 4, 2008) at 9:30 AM. Most reporters, though largely speculating, are saying that the PM will ask the GG to prorogue Parliament; i.e., to end this session of Parliament and thereby prevent a December 8, 2008 vote of no-confidence. I submit that it would be a mistake – both for Canada and for the Conservative Party – for the PM to ask the GG to prorogue.

My read on the public mood right now is that most people want their will – not the will of the GG – to determine which party governs, especially only 7 weeks after a general election. Given that, consider three scenarios. Read more

An Open Letter From Paul McKeever to Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada

December 2, 2008 by · 16 Comments 

December 2, 2008

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
Governor General of Canada
Rideau Hall
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A1


It is public knowledge that, in anticipation that the Official Opposition’s December 8, 2008 motion of no confidence will be successful, Mr. Stéfane Dion, Mr. Jack Layton, and Mr. Gilles Duceppe – the leaders of the Liberal, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois (“BQ”) parties, respectively – did, on December 1, 2008 sign a pact with one another titled “A Policy Accord to Address the Present Economic Crisis” (the “Policy Accord”). It is widely acknowledged that the purpose of the Policy Accord is to impress upon you that a Liberal-NDP coalition would have the confidence of the House of Commons, such that it could form a viable government.

As a citizen, as a lawyer in Ontario, and as leader of the Freedom Party of Canada, I am writing to draw your attention to the grave impact that the Policy Accord has upon your exercise of the authority to call upon Mr. Dion to form a Liberal-NDP government. Specifically, were you to call upon Mr. Dion to form a Liberal-NDP coalition government, the terms of the Policy Accord would result in unconstitutional government. My reasons follow. Read more

Of Marrying for Money and the Liberal Loop-hole

December 1, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

It’s an old theme, retold in many stories. Single meets Prospect who is not all that attractive or charming. Prospect is perfectly honest with Single. However, having misunderstood a conversation Single was listening-in on, Single thinks Prospect is (or is going to be) exceptionally rich. Single convinces him/herself that he/she loves Prospect. Prospect asks Single to marry him/her. Single accepts. They are to be wed. Single really believes he/she loves Prospect or, at least, he/she really wants to believe it. Then Single learns that Prospect is not rich – and is not going to be rich – after all. Not wanting to believe that his/her feelings toward Prospect were not genuine; not wanting to believe that he/she was, subconsciously, attracted by money, Single is torn about whether to go through with the wedding after all. If Single does marry Prospect, the marriage may very well amount to a life of loveless misery and guilt. If Single does not marry Prospect, Single will either have to lie to everyone about why he/she has changed her mind or he/she will face their condemnation and – worse – Single will have to conclude that he/she is a shallow person who is willing to marry not for love but for money. Ultimately, Single wishes he/she had never overheard the conversation that led him/her to believe that Prospect was rich.

Such is the nature of the current situation in Canadian federal politics. For those who find the news over the last couple of weeks to be a bit dizzying. Here’s the condensed version, with some comment, and with some recommended spin for the Conservatives and Liberals. Read more

NEW VIDEO: Fractional Reserve Banking versus Ayn Rand's Ethics

November 5, 2008 by · 6 Comments 

Since former Federal Reserve head Alan Greenspan’s testimony on October 23, 2008, anti-capitalists of every stripe have seized the opportunity falsely to blame the money and banking crisis upon Ayn Rand’s philosophy and upon capitalism. At the same time, some have argued that Objectivism is compatible with fractional reserves in banking. For both reasons, I yesterday turned on the video camera and explained, extemporaneously, the nature of Ayn Rand’s objection to inflation, and why it implies an objection to fractional reserves. Read more

Paul McKeever's Minimal Maxims and Bon Arrows, volume 1, issue 1

October 29, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

If you set out to change someone’s mind, first ensure that he has one.

The hollowing of trees follows the hollowing of heads.

Praise to hate, condemn to love, refrain from judgment to feel nothing at all.

Every mind is a woman, every truth is a man.

Toronto Star Plays Fair: Greenspan No Acolyte of Ayn Rand's

October 27, 2008 by · 5 Comments 

Readers of my blog will know that my most recent entry concerned a Toronto Star editorial that erroneously implied that Alan Greenspan’s role in the credit crisis was due to his being influenced by Ayn Rand. The clear implication was that the crisis was caused by the laissez faire capitalism espoused by Rand. I wrote a letter to the editor, and suggested others do so as well. Read more

Ayn Rand: Smeared Again – My Defence

October 25, 2008 by · 6 Comments 

The Toronto Star newspaper has today (October 25, 2008) published an editorial titled “Twilight of the Oracles”. It takes aim at Alan Greenspan. It focuses on a quotation from Greenspan’s testimony in which he allegedly (I didn’t watch or hear the testimony) said “free markets did break down”. And then it does the all too easy: it mentions that Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged, “impressed” him with statements like “”The only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.” It then proceeds to call that a “counsel of neglect”, and condemn’s Rand’s views as “a cruel joke to millions losing jobs and homes”. Thusly, the Star gave us all a solid example of how dishonesty is inherent in socialism and its proponents. Accordingly, I wrote the following letter to the editor. Read more

Banking and Morality: 100% Reserve versus "Fractional" Reserves

October 20, 2008 by · 42 Comments 

In written pieces (see here, here, and here, for examples) and in videos, I have advocated a 100% reserve requirement for banks. I am hardly original in doing so. A 100% reserve was advocated by the Chicago professors who advised Roosevelt during the banking crisis of the 1930s (see Ronnie Phillip’s excellent article on the topic); it is and was advocated by several economists of the Austrian school, including, according to Gary North, Ludwig von Mises; it was most famously advocated by famous American economist Irving Fisher; it was even advocated by Milton Friedman before he concluded that it was politically difficult to achieve, and settled, instead, for monetarism (see his “A Program for Monetary Stability). However, unlike some of those economists, my reasons are founded on ethics, not on economics: a 100% reserve prevents inflation of the money supply and, thereby, prevents non-consensual wealth redistribution. Read more

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