Monday, February 12, 2007

Tomayto Tomahto

Jeff over at BCer in Toronto references an article today that talks about the Conservative-partisan appointments to the judicial review committee. He asks, "Worried about electing a Liberal government?"

Don't fret. Apparently the courts will keep us in check...

Good catch. However, there is a snarky comment to his post from Anonymous that made me think:

No worries. Chretien and Martin stacked the courts in Liberals favor [sic] with partisan appointments.

Harper would need to be in power roughly 13 years to even it out.

What happens if you don't like either prospect? I mean, I don't relish the thought of any governing party rewarding their stalwarts with any sort of appointment.

Is it realistic? Not really. When you get to a certain career level, you are almost certain to become a partisan at some level. I don't think it's possible for someone in the higher echelons of a corporation or professional organization to not have partisan links.

Right now, using a very detailed and highly confidential patented thought process, I figure that most of these upper echelons that are tapped into for these committees are probably split 50/50 in their partisan links - 50% Liberal and 50% Conservative, with a bare handful that are neither. Thus, if I see appointments to a committee, I would expect - in a fair and non-biased process - that about half of the appointees will be Liberal partisans and the other half would be Conservative partisans.

In the history of this country, a fair and non-biased process to appoint to committees has never happened. So, do I need to get all worked up if the Conservatives fill a committee with their partisans when the Liberals will do the same thing if elected the next government? Especially since, in a lot of cases, their end goal is the same?

In other words, is there truly a lesser evil in this respect? Can you, with all certainty, argue that there are better partisan appointments than others?

Take for example my series of posts on the Toronto Port Authority. The Liberal Party created the Authority to stack it with partisans and ignore the City of Toronto. When the Conservatives had an opportunity to change the direction of the Authority, they didn't - they just stacked it with their own partisans and continued the long standing practice of ignoring the City of Toronto. In the end? The Port Authority runs the same today as it ever did, just with a different set of partisans.

The only prevailing school of thought suggests that, as long as your filling an agency or a committee with your own partisans, that's a good thing.

Am I wrong?

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