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The list of contenders is out…

For the opening in the Supreme Court. Doubtlessly, Stephen Harper has already decided who he is going to pick, but it might be a little disconcerting for him to have the list of nominees leaked, as suggested in the linked article. Why this should be so, I’m not sure, but there you go.

Why the secrecy, anyway? Why shouldn’t Canadians know who is up for nomination to an effective lifetime appointment to a body that will arbitrate the very legality of our laws? I understand the reluctance to go to a full-blown public hearing like the circus in the US, but I strongly disagree with this:

Patricia Hughes, the current dean of law at the University of Calgary, termed it unfortunate that the list had got out. “I would not like to see this become the norm, that we start throwing out names publicly,” said Hughes. ‘Are we trying to say it’s a sort of election? I don’t find it to be a very elegant way to select a member of the top court of Canada.”

I don’t know about you, but elegance is not what I consider the greatest asset of a democratic state. Public debates, campaigning, holding elections, none of these things are what I would consider “elegant”, but they are indeed “essential”. If I want elegance, I like the pure, clean efficiency of a fascism, or maybe the regal haughtiness of a monarchy, but damn it, I’m stuck here in a cludgy old democracy.

[Edit] Of course Harper knew who he was going to select – the “selection” committee only gets to ask questions of the person already selected. Marshall Rothstein, who Janet had at 3-2 got the nod this morning. I’m pretty stoopid sometimes, sorry.

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