Independent courts, so an independent treasury?

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Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

We’re all a little disappointed with our federal government’s inability to rein in questionable “deals” with party supporters – corporations, mainly. The WE

Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

We’re all a little disappointed with our federal government’s inability to rein in questionable “deals” with party supporters – corporations, mainly. The WE
scandal is the most recent; previously it was protecting SNC Lavalin, followed by this government’s attempt to give itself extra powers under emergency anti-covid measures. SNC Lavalin is about to re-appear as we near the deadline on its radioactive dump proposal for the Ottawa River at Chalk River.
Our disappointment is not limited to one government. Mr Harper’s regime deflated
a lot of optimism about Canada’s fair-handedness, and provincial governments under several parties have also insulted voters with attempts to slip benefits to supporters.  
Other nations have far greater problems with corruption – several have shocked the world with their levels of self-dealing.
So for a civilization that can photograph the moons of Pluto, why can’t we build a fair-handed governing system? Instead, we rely on a colonial media, on
patchwork police work, whistleblowers, and other checks-and-balances, like ethics commissioners, to keep politicians honest. These haven’t been entirely effective.
To start, let’s take this problem as a theoretical challenge, without debating jurisdictions or constitutional changes. These topics just shut down conversation.
Around the world there’s a second area of political mischief – legal systems, policing, the courts and prisons. The justice system, not only finances, is
abused in many places (The Philippines, Belarus, USA, Russia …) but many countries have been able to solve the justice question, or at least get it into manageable territory. This is done by creating a separate branch
of government, the Justice system. Here, cabinet cannot over-rule police work or investigations, although there is evidence of continual efforts to do so (e.g. Jodie Wilson Raybould).
We have an expensive, complicated and quite independent system of judges, courts, investigators, police forces. The Prime Minister’s Office does not tell the courts who to prosecute and who to leave alone. This is the sort of independence which is lacking in our government’s financial system.
Hence, the question: why can’t we create a Financial system, independent as is Justice, with the powers of legislation left to the government of each day?
Parliament passes laws and protections, but Parliament does not prosecute, nor does it investigate violations of its laws. The Justice system has that
mandate. Couldn’t a Finance system be built, as independent as is the Justice system?
The cabinet would still set government mandates and ambitions. Parliament passes (or not) laws to deliver on these fiscal mandates – but cabinet and the governing party certainly do not set bidding processes, nor pick winning bidders, nor does the government even decide how spending will be divided up, and what will be the costs of each step. These would be the domain of
the new Finances system, operating twin-like to the Justice system.
The new Finances Department will set up bidding, advertising and evaluation, set the awards … removing these removes opportunities for conflicts of interest, self-serving
decisions, campaign donation pay-backs, and general rewards for party loyalty.
As vague as this seems, it is not incomprehensible, and the idea of an arms-length branch dealing with all money matters is quite attractive. I find it hard to believe that our fair-minded, well-educated society cannot re-design our government
to eliminate many of the loop-holes and opportunities for corruption. We can’t?  Really, we can.
Otherwise we doom ourselves to continual disappointments from governments which are built upon and committed to maintain the party system (which requires rewards for party supporters). We tire of the Conservatives dealing to their corporate supporters, so we vote in the Liberals. Then we complain of the Liberals dealing for their friends and supporters. The smaller parties … ? Support for this change is not difficult to predict; details of the change, however, are less clear.  Send your ideas, dear readers, to abawqp@videotron.ca … and start the discussion.