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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Is Harper Fixing the Bank of Canada Appointment Process?

Reports out of the American news source Bloomberg.com today says Mr. Harper is stacking the panel to review the new Bank of Canada head. Interesting this story is coming out of the States and not Canadian media. I am no conspiracy theorists but it makes you wonder.

Even more interesting is the tactics used by the Prime Minister - stack the committee to get the nominee you want because you can’t hand pick you favourite directly. The Bloomberg story says:

“Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who can't choose a new central bank chief himself, has done the next-best thing: stacked the panel that nominates David Dodge's successor. Since taking office in 2006, Harper's government has replaced eight of 12 Bank of Canada board directors, instead of reappointing them when their three-year terms expired.”

Remember the high minded Harper rhetoric about the Accountability Act? Democracy Watch notes 15 of the 30 measures in the Act have not yet been approved by Cabinet. The Bill failed to include another 22 promised provisions too.

The most notable key provision of the Accountability Act still awaiting Cabinet approval are the measures that establish the Public Appointments Commission to help ensure Cabinet appointments are made based on merit. No wonder that Public Appointments Commission has not been approved. If it were law - as it should be - Mr. Harper would not be able to manipulate the Bank of Canada appointment process like he is. Remember – he plans to do the same kind of power tripping trickery with the judicial appoint process too.

Harper’s political campaign for the 2006 election provided a policy pronouncement a day. Once elected, he culled that do a policy agenda of only five issues – the Federal Accountability Act being one of them. Harper obviously started off governing slowly and has tapered down. Now he is manipulating our democracy to further control and centralize power in himself.