Thursday, August 27, 2009

Entitled to their Entitlements: 2009 Senate Edition

Then: Tories pledge Senate reform, fixed election dates
Calling Canada's appointed Senate a relic of the 19th century, Harper said a Senate chair should be occupied by someone with a democratic mandate.

Now: Harper to appoint close Tory backers to Senate
Campaign chair Doug Finley and long-time communications assistant Carolyn Stewart-Olsen to go to Red Chamber in coming days



  • An updated version of that senate ballot is here.

    By Blogger Old School Liberal, at 10:30 a.m.  

  • I'm enjoying the sight of so many of my former Tory colleagues rushing out to explain that "the PM had no choice but to make these appointments, it's the only fair thing to do." Especially since so many of the new Senators are of the "never did better than party hack" variety.

    Brian Mulroney's impersonation of John Turner pleading, "I had no option... the devil made me do it!" in '84 comes to mind.

    Few things have been more effective at pushing me away from the Federal Conservative party than this sad spectacle.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:13 p.m.  

  • Nothing is more pathetic than Liberals fighting Senate reform and then whining when the process they protected for so long is used by someone else.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 2:12 p.m.  

  • Sure there is, nuna. How about conservatives who have spent their political lives saying that unelected senators are illegitimate and undemocratic and they will never appoint unelected senators because it is just a "dumping ground for favoured cronies of the Prime Minister", and then appoint one on Day One (Fortier), then break records by appoint all of 18 on one single day (2008) and then go on and appoint your own "favoured cronies" (2009).

    Sort of like how Harper has been with fiscal responsibility, deficits, spending, cuts, polling, fixed election dates, special recognition/status for Quebec, accountability and transparency, etc. all of the things that were once core to Harper's beliefs. Now gone for political expediency.

    No question at all that there are some things more pathetic than Liberals pointing out Harper's hypocrisy.

    By Anonymous Are there any conservatives left?, at 2:54 p.m.  

  • From High School student council to the House of commons the refain never changes. While on the outside looking in you can be all rightous and pure but once you get into the position of power that is when the reality of responsibility hits you on the chin and you have to make all sorts of hypocritic choices.

    By Anonymous Don Mitchell, at 3:51 p.m.  

  • Abolish the Senate. Now.

    By Blogger Greg, at 4:22 p.m.  

  • @Nuna: Liberals appointed members of other parties to the Senate. Harper is only appointing members of his own. When you are less classy than Paul fricking Martin, you are doing something wrong.

    By Blogger leonsp, at 4:23 p.m.  

  • I think Harper realizes at this point that senate reform is a long-term project not likely to be undertaken without a Tory majority. Stacking the senate today enables him to get faster results and increases his electoral fortunes.

    Unless Harper believes that the Tories are a new natural majority (rather than just temporary interlopers), he has every incentive to reform the senate, as soon as he gets the chance.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 4:41 p.m.  

  • Senate Reform is so 2010.

    Without a Senate majority the Lib MPs will have 2 choices in 2010:

    "I was for it before I was against it"

    or they can let Judges rather than media or premiers rule on whether the federal gov't can set term limits or involve the electorate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:42 p.m.  

  • There are two reasons there will never be Senate reform. Ontario and Quebec. It is a non-starter. Forget it.

    By Blogger Greg, at 5:12 p.m.  

  • Oh, hypocrisy in politics. What a shock. Especially after the Liberals kept their promise to scrap the GST and FTA.
    Harper should go even further and offer great patronage appointments to a dozen or so sitting Liberal senators and fill those seats with more Conservatives, giving his party a majority.
    As Carol Pope once sang,"You gave me these weapons, I have every right to use them."
    Let the Grits face a Conservative majority or senate reform.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 5:31 p.m.  

  • Nuna, you're embodying the stupidity of partisanship perfectly.

    I'm a Conservative. I don't care if the Liberals didn't keep their promises, or stacked the Senate with political hacks. I never expected they'd do the right thing. In fact, every time you mention what the Liberals did as justification, you only make the sellout of our principles seem even more pathetic.

    I supported the Conservatives because I expected we'd do *better,* not that we'd do the same thing and use Liberal excuses to justify behaving just like Liberals do only with a better color on the party brochures. It's getting to a point where I might as well vote Liberal, because I'm going to get their style of government either way.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:45 p.m.  

  • It has been made clear by the Liberals that the only way to achieve any meaningful reform of the Senate is from within - refusing to make any appointments until the Liberals regain power and stack it with more enemies of reform will not accomplish the goals espoused by millions of Canadians.

    The reason that Conservatives must be appointed to the Senate is not because the Liberals did it, but because the Liberals alone in the Senate will serve primarily their own best interests.

    By Blogger Paul, at 8:51 p.m.  

  • Anonymous 6:45pm: "I supported the Conservatives because I expected we'd do *better,* not that we'd do the same thing"

    I attended a "meet and greet" with Harper in a friend's basement when he was first trying to get elected in Calgary. He clearly stated he was opposed to candidates being reimbursed (if they had a certain % of the vote) but he would take the money because those were the rules.

    This same mentality has been repeated throughout the CPC time in government since 2006 and surfaces once again. Doesn't matter what he "believes", Harper will fall back to the safety or cushion of the letter of the law.

    This is simply another example of 'action speaks louder than words'. Too bad he can't find it in himself to hold himself and the party to the higher standard he professes to believe in.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:19 p.m.  

  • "I supported the Conservatives because I expected we'd do *better,* not that we'd do the same thing"

    Talk about embodying the stupidity of partisanship.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 9:28 p.m.  

  • Noticed that no one is talking about this:

    Dion 2.0

    I love it!


    By Blogger Rav Mlait, at 11:13 p.m.  

  • "I think Harper realizes at this point that senate reform is a long-term project not likely to be undertaken without a Tory majority. Stacking the senate today enables him to get faster results and increases his electoral fortunes."

    I am pretty darn sure Harper realizes meaningful senate reform requires a constitutional amendment, and has nothing to do with the senators.

    He is not reforming from within. He is playing to his base - many of whom have some crazy idea Harper supports a Triple E senate, though I have yet to find any source that supports that.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 12:17 a.m.  

  • Stephen Harper is a shallow, empty caricature of a man. A joke. An empty suit. He thinks is he struts around up in the Arctic with soldiers it makes him look strong and competent and if he names a decent man to the US ambassadorship it makes him look decent. Or perhaps it takes our minds off squalid senate appointments.

    By Anonymous AnnieS, at 11:18 a.m.  

  • I voted Tory in 2006, I admit it.

    They said they were different from the Liberals, and they wouldn't lie.

    I gave them a shot.

    They blew it.

    They are every bit as dishonest!

    You ask me - what's the difference? Simple. The Liberals never made a big deal about being honest or a big deal out of the dishonesty of the other parties.

    THAT is why I hold the Tories to a higher standard. They asked me to. So I did. And they failed to live up to it.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 12:20 p.m.  

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