06.20.2011 09:53 AM

Senate bollocks

His threats are bollocks, his proposed reforms are bollocks, the Senate itself is bollocks.

Bollocks.

13 Comments

  1. Transplanted Doerite says:

    Oh, c’mon, this is brilliantly, if transparently, orchestrated.

    Hilarious really.

  2. Patrick Hamilton says:

    I do rather enjoy this moment of defiance by the rogue Tory senators…..but I suspect its rather like the old cartoon poster of the mouse giving the cat the finger just before being eaten.
    I have always thought the damn thing should be triple-E(for many early Reformers, their raison d’etre) or if not, abolished….

  3. MLukas says:

    Of course I cannot speak for other Canadians, but I think most Canadians will not be particularly enthused about having to vote for another body of government – especially with voter turn-out is bad as it is. Also, most Canadians probably couldn’t tell you much about the Senate anyways.

    That is the real issue I would like to see addressed. Maybe it’s time for compulsory voting law like they have in Australia.

    • MCBellecourt says:

      Elected senators is also an invitation to the constant election mode dog’s breakfast we watch in the U.S. Nothing gets done because of the partisanship that infects every level of U.S. politics. Not only is it undesireable, it is unaffordable.

      The idea behind the Senate was that of a non-partisan body whose purpose was to review legislation put before them to work out the bugs and fine-tune it. When the Senate adheres to that tradition, it proves itself to be a very valuable level of government. Stephen Harper is using our own ignorance of the Senate’s function against the people of his own country, because without that scrutiny, he’ll be able to put forth his poisonous agenda without anything to hold it in check.

      Canadians will finally learn that lesson when it’s too late. Ignorance is not bliss, folks.

  4. WesternGrit says:

    Harper appointed senators not based on talents, but rather on their stubborn willingness to want to stay. It becomes obvious now. He wanted his appointments to point out just how flawed he thinks the Senate is. Funny now how he must be lamenting the appointments he made. No-one of substance. No-one with morals. At least past PMs selected Senators from every party background, and from diverse walks of life.

    Love watching the show. Let’s see what transpires. My bets are that Harper can’t do jack squat about the Senate – and he knew he never could. Like all of Harper’s other policies he simply likes to pay lip service to issues – backed by millions of dollars in partisan advertising on the tax-payers’ dime.

    Canada – you voted for this sham. Enjoy it! Lol…

  5. Sean says:

    An elected senate would cause a lot of chaos in Parliament. The P.M. and his M.P.s base their claim to power on popular consent. Only THEY represent the voters because only THEY are elected. Fair enough. However, what happens when the the Harpies give popular legitimacy to the upper house? NDP senators from Quebec? The entire upper house governed by an “any way the wind blows” mentality? We thought the last seven years of minority parliament was wacky… Welcome to the world of American style rider bills and back room deal making.

  6. bigcitylib says:

    Any more “dramatic” options involve opening the constitution. Therefore they won’t happen. Never mind the bollocks.

  7. James Bowie says:

    After 3 years in the UK, I still don’t understand why “Bollocks” is bad when “Dog’s Bollocks” is good.

  8. Ted says:

    Except constitutional negotiations are only in disfavour by cowardly politicians. A recent poll put it at 2/3s in favour.

    What Harper is proposing as an idea is all generally good, except for the 8 year thing.

    What Harper is proposing as a process is horrible and dumb. You don’t fundamentally alter a fundamental part of our Parliamentary democracy in this hap-handed way. Not once has he met with any of the provinces on this. Not once has he had public consultations with us, the people on this. Not once has he even had an open debate in the House on this.

    There is an argument that what he is proposing is constitutional. There is a better argument that it is not constitutional. Three provinces have already threatened to bring this to court where it will eventually go to the SCC, costing millions and millions of taxpayer dollars and be divisive until settled. And yet, Harper refuses to make a reference to the SCC on this. Why? He has done it with the very good national securities regulator proposal.

    It’s one thing to take your majority (supported by only 24% of Canadians by the way) and pass whatever legislation you want in your 4 years.

    It’s altogether another thing to try to ram through a fundamental unilateral change, even if it is generally good, that you didn’t campaign on, and didn’t consult with the people or the provinces or the Supreme Court on.

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      Sorry Ted, but can you please tell me when is the last time a majority really was 50% of Canadians?

    • scanner says:

      A casual mention in 2 or three campaign stops is not “Campaigning on it”. Everybody who claims to be a Conservative mumbles “reform the Senate” but the only real discussions are in camera. Put it out as an amendment to the constitution, complete with a bill and lets see how far it goes (not very is my guess). Frankly except for the recent Prime Minister the Senate appointments have been handled fairly well over the years – some clunkers, some good choices – and most of the Senators take their job seriously. It is not in need of reform in that the Senate is not causing a true crisis – only in the minds of some who see the possibility of gaining even more power (and wealth).
      What if we chose our Senators the way we choose the members of the Order of Canada? Candidates put forward by the public because of their contributions to society and their wisdom, instead of who can flimflam the most people in their riding.

  9. TofKW says:

    Senate reform – ultimately leading to some kind of EEE arrangement is essential to the long-term stability of this confederation.

    Mr Turk, after 144 years of our Dominion working on the basis of an elected House of Commons and an appointed Senate, or for that matter Mother Britain successfully functioning with an elected House of Commons and unelected House of Lords since 1649 (Charles I’s beheading, end of the civil war, parliamentary supremacy established); how exactly is an ‘E-E-E’ senate arrangement ‘essential’ to the long term stability of our country?

  10. Michael says:

    I think you may be wrong on your point about the US Senate.

    Theoretically the POTUS could by the start of his or her second term have the entire Senate elected on his or her watch. The first third would be elected in year 0, the second third would be elected in year 2 and the final third would be elected in year 4 (the year he or she won their second term).

    The first third would serve from the start of the first term until the middle of the second term. The second third elected would serve from the middle of the first term until the end of the second term. The last third elected would serve from the start of the second term, and two years into the term of the next president.

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