Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED -- When political parties engage in all out war, the people they claim to serve are left in the cold


American legislators tend to get rather full of themselves, and media reports are inconsistent and erroneous. The US House of Representatives (Congress) can’t remove a president from office.

The term ‘impeachment’ as used in the US constitution refers to the process of Congress, having held hearings and examined evidence, recommending that charges against a government official, including the President, be sent to the Senate acting as a properly constituted court.

The Senate will consider the charges and evidence presented by Congress but may call more witnesses and additional evidence if it so desires. The entire Senate is the jury and eventually Senators will vote on whether President Donald Trump should be removed from office. Removal from office requires a two-thirds majority vote of Senators present.

The impeachment process is troubling in many ways. Because the process is rarely used, there are no rules in place as to how impeachment proceedings are to be conducted.    

That seems unfair to anyone subjected to the impeachment process as a lack of rules precludes the protections of the principles of natural justice -- in effect in any civil or criminal proceeding -- such as full disclosure and disallowing hearsay evidence.

Congress, acting as a crown prosecutor, must be impartial in its deliberations. Each Member of the Congress must weigh allowable evidence on its merits and vote accordingly. There can be no “voting along (political) party lines” or the process is tainted. Either there is evidence to support articles of impeachment or there is not.

There is no grey area.

Impeachment at the federal level is limited to those who may have committed "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors". There is no constitutional or legal definition of “other high crimes and misdemeanors”. Incidents of commission or omission can be considered.


“Impeached” is the equivalent of being “charged” for doing something inappropriate to the office of a public official or failing to take appropriate action. The premise is that every elected or appointed official is bound to act ethically and honestly in all matters. That is a very wide net open to broad interpretation.

Congress has voted to send two articles of impeachment for alleged Trump misdemeanors to the Senate. The Senate, acting as a court, will decide if removal from office is warranted. President Donald Trump will be on trial but so will Congress. Filing articles of impeachment without adequate evidence will not be taken lightly and can rebound on those voting in favour of impeachment.

The impeachment proceedings have consisted of almost three years of hype, hyperbole and high drama. The Senate trial, which will be presided over by the US Supreme Court Chief Justice, will be less dramatic and focused on the business at hand. When the charges have been heard, evidence reviewed and witnesses heard, the Senate will deliberate behind closed doors, vote and announce a verdict.

The Senate trial will seem pale in comparison to the impeachment process. Most people will not notice as they will be caught up in the parallel media trial as high drama sells newspapers and attracts TV viewers. The media will continue the impeachment process during the trial period because the media is as politically biased as the legislative arm of government. Neither side will take prisoners which is an affront to democracy.

The impeachment process has been sucking up all the oxygen in Congress for many months, leaving little time for legislative matters. That is not in the best interests of the American people and highlights the dangers of highly partisan politics.

When political parties engage in all out war, the people they claim to serve are left in the cold.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

When necessary – and only when necessary – the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program can attach (garnish) wages

Alan Forseth ~~ Kamloops, BC ~~ May 15th Earlier this week (Monday May 13 th ) the BC government announced it would be establishing a new Crown agency to oversee the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP).   They indicated that on or before the end of October, the provision of family maintenance services would transition from a contracted service provider, to the newly created Crown agency. Apparently, this was to ensure that family maintenance enforcement services for vulnerable British Columbians continue uninterrupted. Seeing this story, reminded me of a woman ( we’ll call her Mary Brown ) who had email me some time b ack about this very thing, and questions she had about how maintenance enforcement was imposed and enforced. She said to me, “ I’m just curious if you can get any statistics of the homeless men and woman, that have children, that they are paying family maintenance in support of their children”.  “I am not about to sugg

Labels

Show more