Can A Canadian Prime Minister Be Removed From Office?
Going forward, this is the key and critical question which must be answered for all Canadians. The latest fighter jet debacle exposes a Prime Minister who knowingly defrauded the public purse of $10 Billion. The average Canadian earns approximately $44,000 per annum and our true unemployment rate approximates 10%. Ten billion dollars, at the minimum wage rate, would employ 500,000 Canadians for a one-year period. Would that not be a boost to Canadian economy?
We have allowed Conservative Members of this Parliament to pursue illegal lobbying activity (Jaffer and Paradis), perpetuate murder, war and theft (Harper, McKay in Libya), collude with provincial and municipal authorities to violate citizens’ civil rights (Harper, McGuinty and Blair), blatantly squander an extra $10 billion on a stealth fighter jet which serves no military purpose for Canada (Harper, MacKay and Department of National Defense) and participate in war crimes (Afghanistan and Iraq).
Canadians must seek to define the role of the Prime Minister, set rules for his/her removal and be able to charge such an individual with crimes when such circumstances present themselves. We have allowed thieves and assassins to immunize themselves from the judicial process.
Can a Canadian Prime Minster be impeached?
1. There is currently no method in the Constitutional Act of 1982 which dictates how a Prime Minister can be removed. The Act also doesn't quite define the duties of the Prime Minister of Canada or that the Prime Minister must leave the House of Commons if the governing party has lost confidence. The reason they do so, is based on tradition. However unlike the United States, the Head of State and the Head of Government are NOT one in the same. The Queen of England for all intents and purposes is our Head of State. We are a Monarchy while the United States is a Republic.
The Governor General represents the Queen of England and is therefore our representative. The Prime Minister of Canada is the Head of Government. The person who can remove the Prime Minister or any other Minister within Parliament before an election (other than the legal system) is the Governor General.
2. The role of the Prime Minister is not defined in the constitution, so there is no specific formula for his dishonourable removal from office. However, none is truly necessary, since, as the Prime Minister is appointed by the Governor General…….the Governor General can simply replace him. No Canadian Prime Minister has ever been removed from office for committing a crime, so how and under what circumstances it would occur cannot be known. However, there are several ways that a Prime Minister can be removed from office, or reprimanded for his actions. The Prime Minister's party can force him out of the leadership position, and choose someone else to be leader. If this happens, the incumbent Prime Minister will be replaced with the new party leader.
Either house of Parliament can censure any individual. The result of this can range from a verbal rebuke to expulsion from Parliament or imprisonment. A censure does not remove a Prime Minister from office, though depending on the severity and nature of the censure, I think (which means this isn't a fact) it is possible that the Prime Minister could be removed from office as a result of one, if only because of the political damage to him, or by losing his seat in Parliament.
3. In theory the Prime Minister of Canada or anyone for that matter can be impeached by the House of Commons. The House of Commons retains the power of Impeachment, inherited from the British Parliament, because our constitution states that ours is "similar in principle" to the constitution of Britain…………It should be noted the last person to be impeached in Britain was Henry Dundas in 1806, so the practice has long since come into disuse. It would be very unconventional to say the least for the Canadian Parliament to dig up these old powers and use them, especially against the PM. But in theory it is possible. Though how the procedure would be amended in Canada would need to be negotiated.
What should be very important for Canadians to understand is that an elected Governor General, an elected Senate and a free vote in Parliament by all MP’s would secure a more realistic democracy. In our current format the Governor General is an appointed stooge, elected MP’s serve to enforce the status quo, and Senators serve to enrich the doctrine of cronyism and nepotism.
If a Prime Minister can shut-down (prorogue) Parliament, what would he contemplate next? Never leave such a question unanswered.
Happy Easter and get rid of the queen,