Wednesday, May 18, 2011

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For those who thought the new Stephen Harper, free from the shackles of minority government, would be any different from the old Stephen Harper, think again:


Harper appoints three defeated candidates to Senate

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed three losing Conservative candidates to the Senate — including two former senators who had stepped down to run in the recent federal election.

Larry Smith and Fabian Manning resigned their Senate seats to run for election, but both lost. Josée Verner, who was Canadian Heritage and intergovernmental minister under Harper but lost her riding on May 2, is also getting a Senate seat.

I'm sure we'll hear the usual excuses, but this is really the last time Harper will get a free pass on Senate appointments. The "Liberals did it" line begins to wear thin in your third mandate, and Harper is now up against an official opposition proposing to abolish the Senate, with bit more credibility on the file.

More importantly, Harper now has his majority in the House...and in the Senate. Yes, his hands are tied by the constitution to a certain extent, but Harper is in a position to make changes.

There's no excuse left for this continued trip to the patronage trough. He either needs to start proposing tangible Senate reforms, or admit it's something he just doesn't care about.

26 Comments:

  • Let's be fair. I mean, if the NDP hadn't defeated these Conservative champions of democracy, then Harper wouldn't have to appoint them to the Senate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:17 PM  

  • Losers don't get to form the government, but clearly they get to form the Senate.

    By Anonymous Paul Raposo, at 6:26 PM  

  • CG,

    Were you paid for this post?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:34 PM  

  • @Anonymous: What are you on about, Anon? The post looks genuine to me, but perhaps that's because I dislike blatant hypocrisy in my prime ministers.

    Maybe it is you, the anonymous concern troll, who is the paid sockpuppet in this case.

    By Anonymous Leo, at 10:58 PM  

  • See you in 2015.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:07 PM  

  • @ Leo: check out the comments on WK's site and you'll get the joke...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:44 PM  

  • "I'm sorry but I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am."
    - Stephen Harper, when asked about his bloated Cabinet and Senate appointments

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 11:47 PM  

  • When people talk about the things that the base is expecting from Stephen Harper now that he has a majority, senate reform is one of them.

    By Blogger Michael Fox, at 12:49 AM  

  • The senate can only be reformed when a majority in the senate want reform. Now that the Tories have the majority in both chambers and the NDP, as the OO want senate reform, progress can occur.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:15 AM  

  • " He either needs to start proposing tangible Senate reforms, or admit it's something he just doesn't care about."

    The two bills the government proposed, C-10 in the House, and S-8 in the Senate are both stuck in committee and have been for over a year amidst wrangling by the opposition members. Now that the PM has a majority in both houses, it is certainly time for him to step up on this issue, but it's hardly fair to blame him for being unable to accomplish anything in a minority situation.

    By Blogger jad, at 10:58 AM  

  • Hardly fair? If I may ask, why? The guy has moved other contentious issues to a vote (long-gun for example) and even in the last parliament, he would have had the NDPs support and the majority of the senate. With a few compromises with the Dippers, he could have moved these. Its the fact that he does not want to work with anyone. This problem will face him again when he has to get the prvinces to go along with this Senate reform plan. How much you want to bet he'll try to strong-arm them and then have a hissy fit when they don't capitulate? Then he'll tell his base he tried and those damned Liberal provinces held him up and keep stacking the Senate with his bagmen. Absolute power corrupts absolutely they say.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:16 AM  

  • What a bunch of dorky sore losers. Get over it, we lost and Canadians expect us to get on with rebuilding the party not sound off on stupid crap like the Senate

    Whine, whine, whine.

    This is simple procedural stuff that Canadians don't care about . . it just means Cons will now be able to control the Senate Committees and have his way with legislation.

    We cannot be accused of "Obstructing the Majority" now, so we are saved that insult.

    By Anonymous Dave Liberalis, at 12:21 PM  

  • hey what do you know Harper's greener than we thought?

    http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/05/18/harper-greener-than-youd-think

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:47 PM  

  • The Parks are probably Prentice's legacy more than Harper's. And that is no excuse for his absolute failure to plan for the effects of climate change which we are seeing in more extreme weather already: flooding, fires and drought. It's going to get worse and Harper is failing utterly to lead. He's refused to keep funding important climate research, and has totally sold his soul, such as it is, to the oil corporations.

    By Blogger Holly Stick, at 2:16 PM  

  • Holly makes a great point. Too much of the focus has been on trying to prevent climate change, at the expense of planning for its effects.

    There's no way we can stop climate change. Even the most devout nations are all-talk, and the biggest polluters (USA, India, China, Russia) have already decided that they won't do squat.

    Climate change is a reality, time to focus our resources into what we'll do to address the consequences rather than continue exclusive efforts into prevention.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 2:25 PM  

  • "Holly makes a great point. Too much of the focus has been on trying to prevent climate change, at the expense of planning for its effects."

    How do you plan for its effects?

    How do you raise the dikes all along the length of the Missisippi River?

    Can we save Richmond from flooding in a storm surge?

    How do you plan for the drying out of the American sunbelt?

    Or, the loss of the low lying islands?

    Or, the disruption of weather systems and the failure of the ocean circulatory systems?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:54 AM  

  • Good questions, Jimtan. Isn't my point that we should starting to answer them?

    Or are you saying we should just give up and die?

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 12:35 PM  

  • Meh, I live in the Mountains, it would take one hell of a Ocean surge to hit me in the Alberta Rockies. And I live off of oil money. Steve Harper has done great work for me and I hope he continues. What is a few million homes detroyed when faced with the possibility of some entity interfering with the invisible hand of the market.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:32 PM  

  • Robert, you show some lack of understanding by writing "There's no way we can stop climate change". The climate change is caused by our emissions of GHGs. If we continue to emit GHGs at our current rate or an increased rate, global temperatures will rise more and the devastation to humans will be worse. If we can limit our emissions, the temperature will rise based on what we have already emitted but it will not rise as badly and maybe more humans will survive.

    We mustn't just throw up our hands and keep spewing it out. And yes we have to adapt to the damage that is inevitable, but we can also try to avoid the damage that is still avoidable.

    By Blogger Holly Stick, at 3:59 PM  

  • "Or are you saying we should just give up and die?"

    Holly is right. Robert is fantastically ignorant. It is certainly possible to reduce energy consumption, phase in alternate sources of fuel, promote mass transit and save the forests.

    Europe has shown that they are willing to pay the costs of pushing renewable energy.

    The cost of preventing or delaying climate change is so much cheaper than if we fail to act.

    In the worse case scenario, 'planning' will be futile because of the scope of the disaster.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 4:45 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 2:19 AM  

  • I still can't believe a couple of left-wingers called me "fantastically ignorant" for saying climate change has occurred, and will occur.

    Do you guys work for Fox news?

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 2:29 AM  

  • "Do you guys work for Fox news?"

    Robert,

    You're just being annoying. We're saying that climate change can be stopped or delayed. It's better to do that than 'plan' for the consequences.

    How much of the Mississippi River are you going to dike? Can New Orleans be saved from another 5 feet rise in sea level?

    Where are you going to find water for the sunbelt? What ahppens when the snowpack in the Himalayas melt. Where are you going to find water for the hungry millions?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 4:58 PM  

  • Annoying? I'm not the one that called someone "fantastically ignorant."

    I think we need Russia, China, India and USA on board to stop climate change, and I don't think we will. Which of these two positions of mine are fantastically ignorant?

    I think we should plan for the possibility that some climate change is unavoidable, and I think it's possible to do so. Which of those two positions are fantastically ignorant?

    Listen, I actually hope you're right. I hope we do stop climate change, and that the planet suffers absolutely no consequences from GHG, and I hope I am "fantastically ignorant" to believe otherwise.

    I've read just about every book on global warming out there, from Tim Flannery, to David Suzuki and even Al Gore. I really hope I was reading all those books upside down and I am fantastically ignorant, and that you are so informed as to be infallible.

    I just hope you realise that by calling people names, and by suggesting that we don't need to prepare for the effects of climate change, you're taking on both the position and the behaviours of Fox news.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 5:55 PM  

  • "I've read just about every book on global warming out there, from Tim Flannery, to David Suzuki and even Al Gore. I really hope I was reading all those books upside down and I am fantastically ignorant, and that you are so informed as to be infallible."

    Excellent! So, tell us how we can 'plan' ahead for the effects of climate change?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:12 AM  

  • Excellent! So, tell us how we can 'plan' ahead for the effects of climate change?

    Why would I say that we need to figure out how to plan for something if we already knew how to plan for it? That makes no sense.

    Canada will change. We'll need to change what we farm, and where (and possibly how). We'll need to shift labour force from some industries to others. Populations may need to move. We may even have a new Arctic passage.

    If we already knew the answers, then it would be pretty silly for me to suggest we should be finding them.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 11:10 PM  

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