07.24.2015 10:02 AM

Harper’s Senate game changer (updated)

UPDATE: Ivison, and the Post, are having a very bad day.


  1. Don Wilson says:

    My Credibility Alarm just went off. Harper to abolish Senate? He has had over 9 years to fix the Senate and today he has had a conversion experience? Who believes this spin?

    • Matt says:

      Reforms were held up by the provinces, which is why he went to the SCoC for a ruling if the Feds could act unilaterally to institute reform.

      SCoC ruled they could not.

      ANY reform requires a constitutional amendment an agreement of 7 of the 10 provinces representing more than 50% of the population .

      Abolition requires agrrement of all 10 provinces OR as the media are now reporting, a national plebiscite where the majority of Canadian voters support abolition.

      Add the question to the ballot in October.

      • W the K - No, not Warren says:

        Did Harper ever meet with the premiers to discuss the matter? Was there ever a process with all the premiers that was being “held up” by the provinces?

        He had, what, nine years.

        Harper doesn’t want to meet with the provinces on anything. That’s what the SCoC intitiative was all about.

      • doconnor says:

        I believe adding a questions to the ballot would require passing a law which would require an emergency session of Parliament to get it done in time.

    • G. McRae says:

      Harper is not omnipotent. Any efforts to reform the senate were thwarted by the provinces, the Liberal Senators, and the Supreme Court of Canada.

      • Northern PoV says:

        None of Harper’s Senate ploys were credible.
        But even if you believe they were and you are correct then this is exactly why his abolish-the-senate hail-mary is such an empty move.
        But your comment proves that the sheeple of Canada like shiny distractions.

        • Al in Cranbrook says:

          McCrae has it spot on right!

          What’s not credible about elected senators or term limits?

          The Liberals fought him every step of the way! Several premiers initiated the means to elect senators, others refused to agree to any reforms, and yet others were indifferent.

          Of course he appointed senators, even requiring that each of them support senate reforms.

          Blaming Harper for lack of progress on the senate is pretty much like blaming Churchill for Hitler’s bombing of London.

          Good grief, talk about revisionist view of history or what!

          • terry quinn says:

            Harper only made a half assed attempt to involve the provinces in senate reform. He never called a premiers meeting to air it out and nor did he seriously consult with them. With harper its either his way or the highway and hopefully he will be on the road come Oct.20

            This latest call for doing something was done because he is feeling the heat from both opposition parties. Its an empty promise and simply pandering for votes as he usually does just before he cheats on EDay.

      • Kev says:

        Any efforts to reform the senate were thwarted by the provinces, the Liberal Senators, and the Supreme Court of Canada.

        Which efforts?

        Are you Tories that delusional?

  2. davie says:

    It’s smart, for sure. The senate has become a weight pulling the Conservatives down. The PM’s appointments to the senate are pretty bad. So change the story completely by announcing abolition of the place…better than throwing one person under the bus to save the leader, throw an entire institution under the bus to save the leader.

    (Methinks Brad Wall could use a bit of a political change of channel in his bailiwick right now, as well.)

    • Matt says:

      Uh, yeah, sure.

      Just like Olivia Chow’s was supposed to guarantee her a victory in the Toronto Mayoral race last year.

      Just like Trudeau was supposed to ride his book all the way to a guaranteed win in October.

      • MississaugaPeter says:

        More like Chrétien’s Straight from the Heart.

        If as good as I am hearing, should motivate and mobilize at the right time. Great long weekend reading.

        • Matt says:

          And the NDP’s latest fundraising effort is ill advised to say the least.

          They have been criticising the Conservatives increase to the UCCB since it was announced in the budget.

          Now they’ve sent an email to supporters asking them to donate their UCCB top up cheque sent out this week to the party if they don’t want it.

          Give it to a charity? Nope. Give it to a food bank? Nope. Give it to a struggling family they may know? Nope. Send it to the NDP!

          • MississaugaPeter says:

            Criticizing a political party just before an election in seeking donations?

            Bizarre. Desperation.

            The NDP are not saints. Far from it. But their leader has lived and has empathy.

            “I found a room on Aylmer Street in the McGill student ghetto for $64 a month. I’d have $15 a week for expenses, and tha’s what I lived on. Luckily for me, McGill as an institution was well endowed and I was able to get a couple of bursuries, the first of which bore the name Mary M. Beattie. I never knew her, but that person’s generosity, many years earlier, made it possible for me to geth through my first year of law school. When I finished university I had student loans to pay back. But to give some perspective, after graduating with two degrees from one of the world’s top universities I owed a total of about $7,000. Young people today have no such luck. By the time they finish university, many of them owe the equivalent of one-and-a-half to two years’ starting salary in their chosen field. It’s grossly unfair. It also discourages too many who want to pursue post-secondary studies from ever going to university. It’s tragic for them, and a huge loss to society and to this country as a whole. No one who has the marks and the will to further their education should ever be hindered from doing so because of high tuition and the prospect of a terrifying debt load for years and years afterward.” Page 34

          • Matt says:


            “The party’s latest fundraising email blast urges supporters to follow the example of Ella, a financially-secure single mother who intends to donate her UCCB windfall to the NDP.

            NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has promised that a New Democrat government would keep the enriched UCCB in place.”

            So, I guess “Ella” is too stupid to realize SHE WOULD STILL BE GETTING THE CHEQUE’S UNDER AN NDP GOVERNMENT.

            If “Ella” ACTUALLY existed and was really pissed about it, she would have donated it to the Liberals, as their proposal gives people less in CCB the higher their income is.

            Guess the NDP backroom boys who created “Ella” didn’t think it through.

          • MississaugaPeter says:

            I would be careful with accusing a Party of fabricating a person.

            It reaks of desperation and may undermine your credibility and sensible retorts going forward.

      • MississaugaPeter says:

        Finally had someone forward me a peak! Yup, a game changer.


        Now that the focus is turning on the man, it is extremely beneficial to introduce the narrative instead of having it presented by others.

        And no, the sky will not fall down with PM Thomas Mulcair

        • terry quinn says:

          Yes it will because he has an even bigger ego than Harper and is another one man band. He has virtually no talent on his bench. In any event he will lose several seats to the Bloc which serves him right for fostering ultra nationalist Quebec voters.

          • MississaugaPeter says:

            You sound like you have had a personal relationship with Mulcair.

            Are your observations and opinions firsthand or from afar?

    • AK says:

      I hope he explains his “convictions” while being a Quebec Liberal Minister who was essentially drummed out of the Liberal party. Also his “convictions” when he considered joining hands with his old friend Cannon and joining the Conservative party but was rejected. And then there is his “convictions” to join the NDP when he wasn’t even close to being a “socialist” or even decidedly “left wing”. These burning questions will no doubt be replaced with political propaganda.

      • Vancouverois says:

        Don’t forget his ‘convictions’ as Director of Legal Affairs of Alliance Quebec, a role in which he consistently challenged the provisions of Bill 101, up until he ran for the Quebec Liberal Party and decided that Bill 101 was a good and necessary law after all.

        • MississaugaPeter says:

          There are 19 Chapters. The first 3 chapters are now available online, and reading them I would be surprised if you do not get your answers in the other 16 chapters next week!

    • terry quinn says:

      Bits of that book have already been reviewed and no one has gone ga ga. Chapters does;t have any pre orders either. I hope his book has him describing his pandering for votes by saying anything that will buy him votes. I wonder if it gets into his slander conviction few years ago and I also wonder if he describes his own financial condition as a bad money manager. Others will help if he doesn’t come clean.

    • terry quinn says:

      Do you know how many hundreds of thousands have lived in the Mcgill ghetto over the years and have lived on the same amount of money as Lying Tom the dual citizen did. His book panders like the phoney speeches he makes.

  3. Matt says:

    HuffPo now reporting the NP story is false.

    Joint news conference with Wall to be about Sask. wild fires.

  4. Justin says:


    Has there been any change at all in the CPC position? I’m not so sure.

  5. Matt says:


    In Mulcair’s rebuke of the story, he essentially (maybe unintentionally) abolition is impossible because all 10 provinces need to agree.

    If you know it’s impossible, then why are you promising it Tommy?

  6. AK says:

    Wanna bet that Liberal Premiers Wynne and Coullaird of Ontario and Quebec will nix the Harper-Wall Senate abolition plan unless…. they get cash goodies in return from the federal government? Then Harper will declare that Liberal Premiers have killed Senate abolition and hang it on Trudeau and Mulcair too.

    • GFMD says:

      If Wynne holds out for something reasonable that Ontarians really like to be put in the constitution but Harper says no, that’s up to 50 seats for the CPC that could go up in smoke – and no downside for Wynne.

      If that’s a game harper wants to play, the LPO is more than ready.

      • AK says:

        Good point, but how will it look if Wynne says she will support abolition of the Senate but only if a PM Harper makes concessions to Ontario for and only for the benefit of Ontario?

        Isn’t that called political blackmail and make Wynne look like the wicked Liberal witch from Ontario who only cares about Ontario and not Canada at large? What do you think Ontarians will say if it’s apparent that Wynne is blocking abolition of the Senate……. which is the same position as Trudeau.

        Question for Trudeau: — “If you are elected PM of Canada will you appoint 22 new (Liberal) Senators and then try to make the Senate significant for Canadians while paying the new Senators over $6 Million that Harper says he is saving by not appointing more Senators?”.

        Meanwhile Mulcair is beating the “abolition” drum and Harper is inflicting the “attrition” wounds to the Senate. Justin? “I want a workable Senate.”.

  7. cynical says:


  8. JH says:

    Personally I think Harper suckered the media again and left them all with egg on their faces. Something he loves to do obviously and no payback from the ink-stained wretches – what more can they do to him?

  9. Matt says:

    So, Harper did have a Senate announcement after all.


    Stephen Harper swears off new Senate appointments
    In pre-election move, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he won’t fill any more Senate appointments, a move meant to force reform of the upper chamber.

    OTTAWA—Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he will keep starving the Senate of new members, a pre-election strategy meant to revamp his party’s stance on the future of Ottawa’s scandal-plagued upper chamber.
    Harper, whose government has been dogged by revelations of Senate spending abuse, said he will use his personal appointment power to refuse to name any more senators, a move intended to force the provinces to agree to reform or abolish the unpopular institution.
    “We’re just not going to make the appointments and the number of vacancies will continue to rise,” Harper said Friday.

  10. MississaugaPeter says:

    Why is this promise any more believable than this promise about the Senate:


    I guess Duffy, Brazeau, Wallin were all elected by Harper and his pets?

    • Matt says:

      There have been many bills attempting to reform the senate. C-7 for example.

      They either died in the Senate or were rejected by the courts.

      • MississaugaPeter says:

        Are you seriously suggesting that with a majority in the House and in the Senate, Harper could not have at least done something more than the NOTHING positive he has done up until now about the Senate.

        All he has done is embarrassed the Senate by appointing an incredible series of unscrupulous Senators.

        Promising to do something now is just outright bullshit. Bad tact. Should have just called for its abolition.

  11. terry quinn says:

    By finally taking a stand on the senate I think Harper has basically killed it as an election issue. The issue will never be simple enough for voters with all the options out there and the KISS approach is what wins votes. Trudeau got his thoughts out early and can now focus on real issues going forward.
    Mulcair will be fight ing his insane promise to abolish the senate when he absolutely cannot. He will soften it as he has attempted but the evidence is there. He will also on the defensive in the ROC for 50 plus 1 and the /bloc is going after him with avery focused message. Tom the slanderer will be nasty playing defense all the time and his smile will get ugly when things stack up against him. Trudeau has weathered the attack ads and stated within striking distance. Our host has not picked up the staying power of JT but will soon see it.

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      Terry, man are you a loyal sailor!

      Even when the admiral and his officers have directed the ship into an iceberg you have complete faith they will be able to fend off the enemy.

      I hope you are getting something for your effort more than a pat on the back, but I doubt very strongly, knowing the Trudeau cabal, that up until now you probably have not even got that.

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