Re: "Federal Public Appointments Commission should be scrapped," (The Hill Times, June 15, p. 1). The Federal Public Appointments Commission should not be scrapped, it should be established, and the MPs' rejection of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's nominee for chair of the commission was the right thing to do. When the House committee rejected Gwyn Morgan as proposed chair of the commission in April 2006, the measures establishing the commission in the Federal Accountability Act would have allowed the Cabinet to set up a lapdog commission that would have done nothing to check patronage and cronyism. Mr. Morgan was clearly not the independent person needed to stop unjustifiable appointments by Mr. Harper. The likely truth of the matter is that Prime Minister Harper wanted the commission to do for his Cabinet's appointments what former ethics counsellor Howard Wilson had done for the ethics of the Chrétien Cabinet's actions—give them the rubber stamp of approval no matter how much they stank. When Prime Minister Harper didn't get away with appointing his lapdog, and when the NDP then pushed for and won changes to the FAA to make the commission more independent with a clear mandate to ensure merit-based appointments, the PM realized the jig was up and, as the Conservative Cabinet has usually done, made up reasons to blame the opposition parties for the Conservatives' failure to keep their election promises. But the opposition parties never opposed the creation of the Public Appointments Commission, they only justifiably opposed having one of Harper's cronies as its chair. It is also very likely that Mr. Harper realized two things after winning the minority government in 2006—many of his party's supporters wanted a reward for their support now that the Conservatives were finally back in power after 13 years, and that a minority government Cabinet can't pass any laws it wants, but it can still change government policy by appointing people who agree with its ideology to agencies, boards, commissions and tribunals. Just as Chrétien finally made changes to make the ethics counsellor independent when he was heading out of office, watch for the Conservatives to establish the commission when they are close to losing an election, thereby trying to impose a check on patronage on a future government that they failed to impose on themselves. Unfortunately, because the FAA only gives Cabinet the power to establish the commission but does not require it, watch for that Liberal government to quickly scrap the commission so that the Liberals can continue to practise patronage and cronyism. So if the NDP really wants to clean up Cabinet appointments instead of just complaining about them, it should introduce a private member's bill. This and so many other actions and inaction by federal politicians show clearly that Canadians deserve better. Duff Conacher, Coordinator Democracy Watch Ottawa, Ont.