Friday, December 12, 2008

Ways For Harper to Avoid Looking Like A Partisan Hypocrite

This may be difficult. After all, Harper does have a long track record of looking like a partisan hypocrite. However, I have two suggestions for him on senate appointments:
  1. Ask the Premiers. I realize that the majority of the premiers don't really care for Stephen Harper. However, it would avoid having the appearance of cronyism and would allow a premier that wanted to hold a Senate election, say Saskatchewan's Brad Wall, to do just that. Harper would retain the right to veto any reccomendation as he retains the constitutional power to appoint all senators. This is basically what Harper said he would do in 2006 and there's no reason to deviate from his plans. However, if he doesn't want to give Danny Williams and Dalton McGuinty a say in the Senate, he does have another more sinister venue.
  2. Appoint Liberals and/or NDPers. Stephen Harper sits twelve seats short of a majority government. He has eighteen senate appointments. This could be a great time to reduce the size of his opposition. This has the insidious beauty of allowing Harper to look non-partisan while seizing the majority he's always wanted. For instance, do you think the Liberals could hold Wascana without Ralph Goodale? Yukon without Larry Bagnell? The answer is definitely maybe. Harper would get a mini-election in battleground ridings to try to get to 155. Or conversely he could just drag the puck on the by-elections for the maximum amount of time, at which point he may be willing to go a general election. So the senate would be stacked against him, it wouldn't matter if he could just keep sending bills back to the senate ad nauseam. Appointing MP's to the senate would have the added benefit of having them be "elected". If he were to name Bagnell to the Yukon vacancy, Bagnell would be representing the same jurisdiction he represents today. I realize this would be a major gamble with the definite risk of people seeing through the bipartisan cover of this tactic. I personally hope he doesn't do it because it would be the best shot he'd have getting a majority and that prospect scares me to no end.

1 comment:

Ron said...

I don't have a problem with asking the Premiers and I think Harper will probably consult with them. I do like that he will only appoint people who agree with his views on reforms and would be willing to resign or run for election if and when reforms are passed. The primary reason I approve filling the seats now is to remove the seats from the bargining table within the coalition. We know they were trading favours, Cabinet seats, Senate seats and billions of dollars around behind closed doors when cobbling this group together. I don't like having these seats filled at this time but I like even less having Sepratists or people like Elizabeth May handed seats in exchange for votes in the Commons. This Liberal practice of buying votes with Cabinet seats (see Stronach) and negotiating the sale of Senate seats is truly sickening. I wish we had a system like they do in the States - sell a Senate seat and get arrested - unfortunately that won't happen in our Justice system. Even the Supreme Court ruling saying the Liberals broke the law when they took billions from workers through the EI fund will not result in an penalties for these folks - the result of decades of appointing the judges, I guess. Anyway, let's see who he appoints - can't be much worse than the bagmen now sitting in that agust chamber.

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