The full axiom reads as: “You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people, all of the time. Many of us have been watching with concern the attempt in Israel to politicize the judiciary. One of the tenets of a true democracy is the independence of the judiciary.
I thought it was marvelous the way the Israelis turned out in the thousands to protest the move by their right-wing prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to politicize their judiciary. He was simply giving himself and his government the power to reverse the courts. Too many Israelis had parents and grandparents who learned what it is like to live and die under such regimes.
And yet in Ontario nobody seems to care when Doug Ford’s attorney general is charging ahead with conservative plans to politicize Ontario justice. The attorney general wants more choice among the choices presented to him, so he can choose someone like him to be chief justice.
And I can tell you that someone such as Doug Downey as chief justice of Ontario is a sad thought. Doug Downey was the conservative’s go-to guy in Severn, Ontario. He was a lacklustre councillor on Orillia city council. He was forced on my electoral district of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte by Doug Ford as a parachute candidate. I have only met him once, although by accident. He never attended an all-candidate meeting in the last election. I have never heard of him speaking in Barrie. He is a small-town ward healer.
Downey was not even Doug Ford’s first choice as attorney general. That first appointment was reserved for Brian Mulroney’s daughter. Having the senior Mulroney on board as a fund raiser was probably the price for giving her the job. The only problem was when the premier was told that Caroline Mulroney was educated in law in the United States and all her legal experience was in New York State. The fact that she could not practice law in Ontario was considered something of a problem in her being Attorney General of Ontario. She was quietly shuffled over to minister of transportation where she could shepherd the highway 413 and Bradford Bypass projects along for the conservative party. Mulroney is also minister of francophone affairs. She is one of the few French speakers in the conservative caucus having grown up in Ottawa and Montreal.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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