Saturday, August 29, 2009

In Fairness

I've given Stevie a bit of a hard time on these Senate appointments. But this Liberal line of attack rings fairly hollow:

"He is unequalled in Canadian history as the only prime minister to have made 27 Senate appointments in a single year and he beat (Conservative prime minister) Robert Borden who made 26 (in 1917)"

Harper has done exactly the same thing as every single Prime Minister that preceded him: He has filled Senate positions when they opened up. Yeah, yeah, he dithered about it at first, leading to a big total in 2009, but "Patronage King" is a bit rich, given the number of appointments Liberals have made over the years.

That said, to the Conservatives snickering about how the Liberals were no better, Paul Martin did appoint 4 Tories and 1 Dipper to the Senate.

12 Comments:

  • I would contend the official Liberal response is not only hypocritical itself (you shouldn't appoint Conservative Senators so that we can eventually appoint Liberal Senators) but also highlights why these appointments are necessary: to overcome the Liberal Party's attempts to thwart any meaningful reform of that august body, it is necessary to make these appointments.

    Further, it is necessary that those appointed provide hope to those who want the Senate reformed, or even abolished.

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 5:29 PM  

  • And prey tell, Paul, what meaningful reform of that august body hath the Liberal Party thwarted? And unconstitutional legislation hardly counts.

    Meaningful reform requires constitutional amendment, and I don't recall such a proposal from the Prime Minister being put on the table.

    By Blogger A BCer in Toronto, at 5:57 PM  

  • For the record, the NDP historically did not accept Senate appointments, resulting in the party's relatively clumsy response when Lillian Dych decided she wanted to sit as a New Democrat. My sources suggest that actually came as a surprise to the Martin PMO, who had assumed she'd sit as a Liberal.

    Of course, as of last January, she now sits as a Liberal.

    By Blogger Malcolm+, at 6:35 PM  

  • Speaking of ringing hollow:

    "It is my intention to have senators in there that will support the elected government and that will stop blocking our significant legislation, anti-crime legislation and legislation on democratic reform."

    at what point is the media going to start exposing these obvious lies???

    By Blogger Gayle, at 7:01 PM  

  • Sharon Carstairs on CBC's The House made some excellent points that if Harper really was serious about changing the senate, he should have be talking to the provinces about it, which clearly he never did in any serious way. His shame should be that he touted reform so loudly and then really, did nothing, and then, when he decided he had done enough of nothing, claim he had no other choice but to appoint senators. A sad excuse for leadership.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:02 PM  

  • you shouldn't appoint Conservative Senators so that we can eventually appoint Liberal Senators

    Who said that, where, and when?

    By Anonymous future NDP senator, at 2:26 AM  

  • Not verified, but curious - some are saying that by appointing Doug Finley to the senate he is ammune from testifying in the In-and-Out hearings - if true, that is a huge difference folks.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:25 AM  

  • if Harper really was serious about changing the senate, he should have be talking to the provinces about it, which clearly he never did in any serious way. His shame should be that he touted reform so loudly and then really, did nothing, and then, when he decided he had done enough of nothing, claim he had no other choice but to appoint senators. A sad excuse for leadership.

    Well said.

    He's never tackled this seriously, and now has given up.

    By Anonymous Jason Bo Green, at 11:48 AM  

  • Yeah, the "Liberal Senate" hasn't really blocked any meaningful senate reform legislation.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:51 AM  

  • The 4 Tories Martin appointed were Progressive Conservatives, not members of the CPC, and yes there is a difference. Ask Elaine McCoy who still doesn't sit as a member of this government's caucus. So no brownie points to PMPM on this one.

    By Blogger jad, at 11:52 AM  

  • "So no brownie points to PMPM on this one."

    There is also a difference between appointing Tories when you have a massive majority in the senate and doing the same when the two sides are fairly close in support (as they are now).

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 4:19 PM  

  • you shouldn't appoint Conservative Senators so that we can eventually appoint Liberal Senators.

    Thanks,
    cari duit
    belajar seo

    By Anonymous car iduit, at 5:55 PM  

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