CAN'T IMPEACH TRUDEAU

Nothing to do but complain

By DAVID KENDALL
Staff Writer

You say you're broke, jobless, and you wanna get rid of Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

You're not alone.

From bumper stickers reading "I don't brake for Liberals" to earnest lobbyists whispering in backbenchers' ears, anti-PM people are sprouting.

But according to constitutional expert, Sen. Eugene Forsey, there isn't much you do except bitch.

You can't impeach the PM the way the British can or the way the Americans can with their president; an oust-Trudeau referendum would not be binding.

Any idea of a class action suit for fraudulent non-fulfillment of election promises or irresponsible management of the economy, said Forsey, 77, yesterday, is "a horse that won't run."

Explained the senator who recently quit the Grits: "You can't do anything just because some people say Mr. Trudeau has wasted public money. You'd need a violation of a specific law or the courts would laugh at you."

The last impeachment in Britain was 1806, he said, when Viscount Melville (Henry Dundas) First Lord of the Admiralty, was ousted for a "dubious financial transaction."

The Americans almost impeached President Richard Nixon, but he walked first. "But there's no machinery for impeachment in the Canadian Constitution," said Forsey. Politicians at the turn of the century "tinkered" with the idea of allowing local ridings to petition for byelections (15 byelections could topple Trudeau's majority)...and then discarded the idea.

So here's what's left:



(text of July 19, 1982 Toronto Sun article)


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