Activist courts

Date: 26 March 14
By: Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,
2252 Joyce St.,
Burlington, ON L7R 2B5
905 634 9538
For: Editor, The Spectator
Re: ” … courts should not interfere with the will of Parliament, which is exactly what the court did.” Editorial, March 26

Dear Editor:

With all respect to the good justices of the Supreme Court, they are operating in a system based on a glaring conflict of interest, which is that the providers of a service should not be those determining the rules and financials governing that service.

Specifically, judges should not be part of the process of selecting judges. A fundamental of democracy, as defined in dictionaries, is that, as amongst Parliament, the Prime Minister, and the courts, the people (the Parliament) are supreme. The Supreme Court should certainly advise the government on such matters but emphatically should not have the final say.

There is a natural tendency for a craft or profession to develop a large, exclusive, expensive, impregnable organization that is unresponsive to the public who pays it bills and must use its results. Note just two such:

* National and international banks (e.g. the US Federal Reserve and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision) set their own banking rules and procedures. Before 2008, this allowed bank reserve ratios to become razor-thin which amplified their profits but which, provably, was a major cause of the 2008 meltdown. Worse, that allowed the banks to reap the profits but also allowed many big banks to offload huge losses onto the taxpayers, who had to bail them out because they were “too big to be allowed to fail”. Worse yet, these very organizations are now lobbying to permit their reserve ratios to sink back down from the levels to which they were raised after the 2008 crisis; they will probably succeed.

* Governments worldwide are struggling, with very limited success, to snatch back control of their education systems. The Education establishment has captured the process of determining what shall be taught, how it shall be taught, and what it shall cost. This establishment is so firmly in charge that it refuses to be judged by simple results such as, Can Johnny read (too often he can’t)? Any reader who can find the word “results” in any Ontario public education system statement of purpose or similar policy document should publicly congratulate the administration responsible. Lots of luck, because politicians up to the Ministerial level will admit privately that they cannot direct or control Education policy.

Similar conflicts of interest with varying degrees of influence are to be found in many places in the public arena.

Conflicts of interest, from pre-Biblical times forward, have been major contributors to the downfall of mighty civilizations. We need to take care.

Frank Gue

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