Political power corrupts, and absolute political power corrupts absolutely!
First, if you have never heard of FATCA …
To put it simply: FATCA is a U.S. law that stands for “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act“. According to this U.S. law, the United States will confiscate 30% of all U.S. dollar payments going to a non-U.S. bank, unless:
1. The bank agrees to hunt for people who the USA defines as a U.S. citizen (the U.S. can change the definition any time it wants);
2. The bank agrees to turn over all the bank account information of anybody who the U.S. decides is a U.S. citizen (note that this includes about one million Canadian citizens who had the bad fortune to have been born in the United States);
3. The purpose is to to force these unfortunate souls into the U.S. tax system; which
4. Will allow the U.S. to extract Canadian capital (under the guise of citizenship-taxation) from Canada to the United States.
In order to protect the Canadian banks from the threats of the 30% penalty, the Harper Government agreed to change Canada’s law to allow Canadian banks to “perform this service” for the United States. The Harper Agreement is also known in the profession as the “Canada U.S. FATCA IGA” and was signed on February 4, 2014.
But, this is just to provide context to this post. Those who want to learn more should visit the site of the “Alliance For The Defence of Canadian Sovereignty” which has brought a lawsuit against the Government of Canada to prevent this outreageous transfer of Canadian sovereignty to the U.S. Treasury.
For those who think I am making this up, here is a copy of the Canada U.S. FATCA IGA:
For those who wish to learn more, I suggest that you visit the Isaac Brock Society.
With that as background, I now turn to the question of what this has to do with independent candidates, political parties, and the role of the opposition …
About the role of political parties in a Westminster democracy …
The March 22, 2016 iPolitica.ca article by Elizabeth Thompson includes the response of Mr. Brison, now that he is a Liberal cabinet minister in a majority government and no longer the “critic” of a party that was lost in the political wilderness. It is an interesting example of how individual MPs and parties can be more effective in opposition AND the important role played by opposition parties!
Leaving aside the FATCA issue, Mr. Brison’s response speaks volumes about the reality and role of political parties in a Westminster democracy (particularly when the party has a majority government). The manner that the FATCA IGA issue has been handled, is a case study on the weaknesses of the “first past the post system” of determining election results.