Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Harper Is Going To Get An Elected Senate Because You're Going To Ask For It

Stephen Harper wants an elected Senate, he's going to get it because you're going to ask for it.

Through the engineering of a legislative quagmire, Stephen Harper just motivated a lot of Canadians to start questioning why the appointed Senate has the power to defeat a bill passed by the elected House of Commons. And the opposition parties, by calling foul, are only making things worse by showing the public the Senate needs reform, playing right into Harper's hands.

At first glance it may not seem like Stephen Harper wants an elected Senate, after all in his terms as Prime Minister he has appointed a record number of Senators and just as of yesterday used his plurality in that house to defeat a democratically passed piece of legislation. However when one considers the outcome of the current gridlock and where it is headed, public support for an elected Senate will most likely only strengthen, which coincidentally means more support for a policy that just happens to be advocated by the same man who caused the mess in the first place, Stephen Harper.

So just as the immortal Bugs Bunny would con Daffy Duck into admitting it's duck season, Stephen Harper has the opposition parties claiming the unelected Senate has no right to defeat a House of Commons bill, and soon Harper will give a melodramatic sigh and respond, "Fine, you got me guys, you win, let's make the Senate elected."

Cue Porky Pig, and fade to black.

UPDATE: And one day after this post, the Globe and Mail posts this.


Skinny Dipper said...

I do support an elected Senate. However, Harper's proposal to "elect" senators is still an appointed Senate. The candidates for senator that the voters select still need informal approval from the prime minister. Let us be clear. Under Harper's proposal, the prime minister will still appoint the senators.

Tof KW said...

Skinny, of course the PM will still ultimately have to appoint the senators, because a proper direct vote can only happen by amending our constitution. And remember what happened the last time a Conservative government tried to re-open the constitution? Harper's quite happy with the present system, so you won't see real senate reform from his government - regardless of what his base used to stand for. said...

Skinny, yes the senate reform bills proposed by the Conservatives do still require appointment, but with enough public pressure appointments could be considered convention and therefore mandatory for a PM to make.

I'll add that in appointing the most partisan group of senators (as I was informed by various senators) and promoting legislative gridlock I believe Stephen Harper is building support for a more drastic alteration of the upper house.