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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Canada's Prime Minister Suspends Parliament

Canada's prime minister suspended Parliament. They were about to make a "no confidence" vote and he suspended Parliament until sometime next year. In the meantime, the Prime Minister may do whatever he wants.

I'm not sure what issue triggered the crisis. I read it had something to do with the financial crisis.

Allegedly, the Queen of England still has the authority to suspend Canada's Parliament, and she exercised that authority. If I were a member of Canada's Parliament, I'd issue a declaration of full independence and meet anyway and ratify the "no confidence" vote. Allegedly, Canada got practical independence from England, but not full independence.

If I lived in Canada, I would go around saying "Canada's government isn't legitimate anymore! We don't have to pay taxes anymore!" Of course, if you work in a corporate wage slave job, taxes are still automatically withheld from your salary and your income is reported to the State. Even though there is a dispute, the tax collection portion of the State is still 100% functioning.

One of my favorite Karl Marx stories, via the Picket Line, is about him getting involved in a tax resistance movement. At that time, two different groups were claiming to be Germany's government. Karl Marx went around saying that neither was legitimate, and therefore people should stop paying taxes. Naturally, he was arrested for treason. There was a jury trial, he represented himself, and he explained to the jury the immoral nature of taxation. The jury said they appreciated the enlightenment, and acquitted him. I'm not sure if such a defense would be feasible in a military/tax court. If necessary, I'd try it. Most people smart enough to understand the issue would be weeded out of the jury selection process.

A parliamentary system functions differently than the US system. In a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister is chosen by the legislature, rather than being directly elected by the people (or electoral college). There are the usual periodic elections. If the parliament, having previously chosen a Prime Minister, decides they no longer support him, then they can have a "no confidence" vote. All members of the Parliament are then immediately up for re-election.

A parliamentary system also usually allows multiple people to be elected per district. In the US, only one candidate is typically elected per district, who needs a simple plurality to get elected. This makes it practically impossible to form new parties. In a parliamentary system, multiple people are elected per district, and only 5%-10% of the vote is needed to elect someone. For example, there are 10 seats in one district, and each party gets 1 seat for every 10% of the vote. In turn, this means there are compromises between a major party and a minor party to form a majority that votes for a Prime Minister.

All forms of government are immoral, and all forms of taxation are theft. It's amusing to see politicians explicitly exposing the immorality of government, in a way that's obvious to even a total fool. Both Canada's Prime Minister and Illinois' governor are doing their part working towards the collapse of the State.


Anonymous said...

I think the Queen, in her capacity as Queen of Canada can suspend the Canadian Parliament. Canada is independent of the United Kingdom, they just happen to share the same head of state. If the Parliament of Canada were to decide to do away with the Queen the UK would have no say (Australia is in the same position and seems likely to remove the Queen at some point in the near future).

More practically its the Governor General of Canada who issues the order as the Queen's Viceroy - the Governor General is selected by the Prime Minister and the Queen only approves this (and does not generally refuse approval - due to the constitutional crisis this would evoke).

So, I suspect, the Prime Minister asked the Governor General to dissolve Parliament, which is one the the few Royal Prerogatives left in Canada. The Governor General agrees to the request, because they're mates, or because the Governor General just does whatever is asked of them (as with signing laws).

In the UK, Royal Prerogative is far more expansive, even including declaration of war, and this is exercised by the Prime Minister (although I believe Parliament's approval is needed to keep a standing army, but that's not ever going to be withheld). The Queen in recent years just goes along with whatever the Prime Minister wants... (if she failed to do so then there would be a considerable constitutional crisis - which would be interesting).

As for the nature of Parliaments, in the UK the Prime Minister is selected by the Queen, although custom dictates that the leader of the largest party in the Commons is asked to try and form a government (ie get the support of a majority of MPs). The Lords is currently unelected, consisting mainly of appointed members, a few remaining hereditary peers and the Bishops of the Church of England.
Also in the UK, we elect members on the First Past The Post system in the same way that the majority of US Representatives are elected and we have no multi-member constituencies (any more).

Other countries work more like you suggest and others probably work in other even more weird ways.

All are illegitimate and immoral of course.

Anonymous said...

Marx supported and desired Central Banks, which means he supported taxation, your Marx story must be false.

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