Harper to fill Vacant Senate Seats Before New Year

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oldgoat
Harper to fill Vacant Senate Seats Before New Year

From the Star Harper Set to Name 18 to Senate

 

[QOUTE]

The Prime Minister plans a wave of appointments in the coming weeks to tilt the balance more in favour of the Conservatives in the Liberal-dominated upper chamber, a government source said last night.

"The government has the intention of naming senators by a government that is legitimately elected by the people," the official said, taking a swipe at the coalition that is threatening to topple the Conservatives.

 

Well this will come back and bite him in the ass.  It'll galvanize the resolve of a tottering coalition, (though probably not enough) and I can't really it'll really sit too well with much of his caucus.

remind remind's picture

3rd on his list will be E. May. As I heard last night on the news, that he intended to put some "coalition" support people in senate seats, in order to try and foster "non-partisanship" in the House. Innocent And there is only one person that comes to mind, who fits that profile and would readily accept it, that is when one excludes those of who are available to be a senator and those that Harper would never choose, like Chretien and Broadbent. Such an oblique posting of May as Senator, because she is  coalition supporter, provides both of them cover in broader public optics. 

Is Manley going to be part of that little group as well? How about Jimmy Pattison? Would Harper go for Preston Manning too? Deb Gray?  Ken Epps?

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

kropotkin1951

It is interesting to see him jettison all the "reform" ideas on the constitution in exchange for power. Fixed election dates and elected senators to curb the powers of a grasping PM wasn't that the old ideology?

I've seen his caucus in action in the House, they are trained seals. Maybe Bill Casey and Joe Clark can resurrect the PC's?

Hoodeet

Deb Gray would be an interesting nomination.  We just lost a
good centrist Liberal woman who retired,  Marilyn
Trenholme-Counsell, so another female senator would be
appropriate.  If it's going to be a creature from the west
and  Herpes'  old Alliance base, at least she's smart and personable and has a sense of humour.  

 

 

My Cat Knows Better My Cat Knows Better's picture

Although it is within his rights as PM to appoint the senators, as the GG did not place any restrictions on the government when she allowed Harper to prorogue Parliament, it does raise some questions about this whole process. Had Parliament been allowed to function, he would have lost the confidence vote and he would no longer have been the PM.

He is running around the country claiming that he, and he alone, has the skills and experience to guide the country through this recession. Not long ago Flaherty mused about selling off crown assets in order to help balance the books. He attempted to take away the right to strike for civil servants and in the same document wanted to cripple the process for equal pay for equal work. How can he justify, (in good conscience), the addition of 18 appointees to the federal payroll. These appointments come with full benefits and pensions. The list goes on and on...

He is really starting to piss me off!!!

kropotkin1951

Remind that is too funny. EMay getting appointed by the man she called liar in the debate. It would prove once and for all how very hypocritical they both are. 

So I guess we'll be losing Emerson to Ottawa now. Better than letting him make any more real decisons like he did on the forestry file. 

remind remind's picture

Well kropotkin, as you know, I have been stating all along that Harper was going to give E. May a senate seat for a job well done. He just had to find some way of doing it, so it would cover their plan to split the left vote and allow him to come up the centre. Hence May's overblown ravings against Harper. It is the oldest political ploy in the book, plotters together raving against each other in the public eye to cover their covert actions.

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

theleftyinvestor

Coalition appointments would be interesting. Martin appointed some non-Liberal senators, but they included "Progressive Conservatives" (just to tick off Harper?) and our first "Independent NDP" senator. So they were kinda token moves that were supposed to give some acknowledgement to his minority status but didn't really make the opposition very happy.

 So I can imagine Harper returning the favour.

 Still, 18 appointments... that's ridiculously many for how soon Harper might be turfed.

tostig

18 seats.  What would the seat count be after these appointments?

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I wonder if there is anyway he could appoint sitting MPs to the Senate? There were a couple of names being bandied about in the last couple of weeks about possible successors to the Dear Leader... and what a neat way this would be prevent any support coalescing around someone other than the Dear Leader himself. It could be amusing... and would be the kinda student politician stunt that the Dear Leader's nearest and dearest seem to love to pull... (of course if it was possible, why didn't Chretien do it to Martin).

Okay, pointless ramble through my thought processes is over.

Politics101

Pattison and Broadbent won't be appointed as they are both over the mandatory Senate retirement age of 75.

Which provinces have vacanies - this would also give us pundits a better idea of who he might appoint from where.

 

robbie_dee

Wikipedia lists the vacant seats as follows:

Quote:
Vacant seats: Newfoundland and Labrador (1), New Brunswick (3), Nova Scotia (3), Prince Edward Island (1), Quebec (4), Ontario (2), Yukon (1), British Columbia (3)

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senate_of_Canada]Wikipedia: Senate of Canada[/url]

 I would be shocked if Harper appointed EMay to the Senate. However, I wouldn't be surprised if he offers a nomination to another token Green, like David Suzuki, former Green leader Jim Harris (who is much closer to Harper ideologically), or May's former Green leadership rival David Chernushenko

V. Jara

This is Harper in panic mode. I think the Senate appointments are likely a side show. The real action I'm guessing will be somewhere else, maybe the plum postings? firing up the incinerators?rumours running through the public service?

V. Jara

There are lots of right wingers who at one time or another have been "Greens." His choices in that department would be almost unlimited. Mario Dumont to the Senate? Laughing  You heard it here first Tongue out

johnpauljones

I hope he does appoint 18 people. and I hope none are liberals. The libs are just so honest and good politicians that i think that 56 or so out of 105 are enough libs in that chamber.

Also to have 18 vacancies is disgusting. Imagine the horror of having more lib senators than lib mps :0

robbie_dee

Quote:
Dumont to the Senate?

That guy could live his entire life without ever holding down a real job? Yeah, sounds about par for the course for a conservative.

Edited to add, my God he's only 38 now. We'd be stuck with him until 2045!

Stockholm

I wonder if Harper is planning on following the example of Rod Blagojevich the corrupt Governor of illinois and demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for each Senate appointment. Harper could rake in millions that way and resign as a very wealthy man.

penumbra

rahim jaffer is a 30-something, can be claimed to have relevant experience, and probably won't be nominated to run against linda duncan again. i call him.

let's get a list of some more young, "experienced" duds.

V. Jara

penumbra wrote:

rahim jaffer is a 30-something, can be claimed to have relevant experience, and probably won't be nominated to run against linda duncan again. i call him.

let's get a list of some more young, "experienced" duds.

 Good call. That would be one turd of an appointment and Jaffer has to stay in Ottawa anyway to be with his hubby. BTW, has anyone seen him in Edmonton since the week after the wedding, er, I mean election?

Could any recently defeated NFLD Conservatives be headed for the Senate? I agree with Stockholm though that beyond a few cosmetic appointments, like the Liberals, most of the Conservative appointments will be bag men (as in fundraisers/donors) and backroom dealers.

 

johnpauljones

V. Jara wrote:
most of the Conservative appointments will be bag men (as in fundraisers/donors) and backroom dealers.  

 Good to know that the cons will continue the well used formula that the libs used for decades :-)

robbie_dee

Rob Silver made an interesting suggestion in his blog on the G&M website, as to how Harper could use this (if he was so inclined) to save John Tory's ass.

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081211.WBSilverPowe... 12-11-08[/url]

Quote:

Ontario PC leader John Tory has made a commitment that he will announce which Ontario seat he will run in by the end of 2008, which of course leaves him 21 days to go - tick-tock.

To date, every single PC caucus member has rejected Tory's request to step aside and open up a seat for him.

Just when it looked as if all hope was lost, news comes down that Stephen Harper will be breaking his word (again) and filling all of the senate vacancies.

Essentially Harper has Tory's future as leader in his hands; if he wants to save him then watch for Bob Runciman or one of the other Ontario PC MPPs to get an appointment.

On the other hand, Harper being the sweet-heart that he is, I wouldn't be surprised if he likes having Premier McGuinty in office just fine and does not lift a finger to help Mr. Tory out, leading to a PC leadership race in 2009.

Highlander

Not the sort of move you make if you think the GG is going to call an election, is it?  Me wonders what was discussed for 3 hours that day...

johnpauljones

robbie_dee wrote:

Rob Silver made an interesting suggestion in his blog on the G&M website, as to how Harper could use this (if he was so inclined) to save John Tory's ass.

Interesting. But from what i hear their is only one MPP who is continually approached and she represents a riding near Toronto. fact is that she has turned down a lot of offers already.

 

Why would she accept a senate appointment? On another note the libs want Tory to get a seat in the leg.

ocsi

I heard on CBC Toronto radio that there is speculation that Bob Runciman, a former right wing graduate of the Mike Harris Common Sense Revolution, may get a senate appointment.  That would open up his seat to John Tory, who still doesn't have a seat in the legislator.

Perhaps Harper could consider appointing Mike Harris, who is currently a Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute, a right wing think tank.  (I had difficulty typing that because I always feel like barfing whenever I think that Harris is a member of a think tank.  Am I in some kind of Twilight Zone??)

 

Politics101

David Emerson from BC?

John Reynolds from BC?

 

 

 

remind remind's picture

May- Nova Scotia (now we know why she bought a house there).

Reynolds - BC, not Emerson. He is busy with the provincial government, personally I think he is going to go for LT Gov or GG.

Jaffer - ON (agreed)

David  Suzuki - BC (agreed)

Dumont - PQ (agreed)

Not Deb Gray there is no AB seat open.

Mulroney - PQ ?

Bernard Lord? Thus taking away his competition?

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

Unionist

Someone explain to me why Michaelle Jean has to appoint whatever Senators Harper recommends.

Because she has money stuffed up her backside?

Because she shares Harper's vision of a neo-fascist Canada?

Because she's brain-dead?

Because the law or the Constitution says she has to?

As far as I know, the Prime Minister doesn't even have any constitutional existence.

Nor does he enjoy the confidence of the House.

Now that she has made it impossible for the House to defeat Harper, can someone explain why she has to help him stack the Senate?

Agent 204 Agent 204's picture

remind wrote:

May- Nova Scotia (now we know why she bought a house there).

Reynolds - BC, not Emerson. He is busy with the provincial government, personally I think he is going to go for LT Gov or GG.

Jaffer - ON (agreed)

David  Suzuki - BC (agreed)

Dumont - PQ (agreed)

Not Deb Gray there is no AB seat open.

Mulroney - PQ ?

Bernard Lord? Thus taking away his competition?

I was thinking Mulroney too, actually. If he was convinced he was screwed anyway come January, that might be one last act of spite. Good call on Lord too.

Suzuki would be an interesting case. I wonder if he'd accept it if it were offered to him?

Agent 204 Agent 204's picture

sorry, multiple post

Agent 204 Agent 204's picture

sorry, multiple post

Agent 204 Agent 204's picture

sorry, multiple post

Parkdale High Park

I seriously doubt Harper will appoint Mulroney or Mike Harris, and even then I doubt they would accept. As plum a job as being in the senate is, it is far less plum than bumming around on corporate boards doing absolutely nothing (as opposed to almost nothing). The senate is a reward for much lesser cronies of the PM. 

I predict...

-eMay

-Dumont

-At least one Liberal/BQ/Dipper in a close riding likely to vote down Harper's budget. Judging by the national polls, Harper will probably win those by-elections and either way, it helps him survive the budget vote. If I was in a riding I stood a low chance of winning next time, I would take that deal.

-a hockey player

 

Basically, I see Harper trying to get a bounce out of his senate picks, as opposed to affecting the long-term composition of the senate.  

 

 

Hoodeet

Much as I dislike Rex Murphy most of the time, I had to agree with
tonight's commentary on the National.   It is abominable that
Mr. H. intends to fill all those plum jobs --think of the salaries,
benefits, perqs, pensions-- just as the country's going into a
full-blown economic crisis.   Another big slap in the face
to  the poor and the struggling workers.

 

 

Politics101

His appointment from NFLD could lead to that person be named to cabinet as he has no representation in the House from that province.

I don't believe that the GG has anything to do with the appointment of Senators - it is entirely up to the PM to apoint anyone he likes to the the post.

Remember that Harper did try in the last Parliament to change the way of appointing Senators to have them elected from their province and then appointed by him and only serve for a specific period of time - me thinks that the Liberal dominated Senate wasn't overly cooperative in passing those changes so now he is doing what he has the right to do.

 

 

Unionist

Politics101 wrote:

I don't believe that the GG has anything to do with the appointment of Senators - it is entirely up to the PM to apoint anyone he likes to the the post.

Amazing that intelligent people should fill a thread with posts about the Senate and not even understand how senators are appointed:

Quote:
24.
The Governor General shall from Time to Time, in the
Queen's Name, by Instrument under the Great Seal of
Canada, summon qualified Persons to the Senate; and,
subject to the Provisions of this Act, every Person
so summoned shall become and be a Member of the
Senate and a Senator.

That's from a little-read document known as the Constitution of Canada.

Er, by the way, the "Prime Minister" isn't mentioned in that document.

So, I repeat: Does Mme Jean enjoy her luxurious lifestyle too much to give a shit about the fate of the country?

Fleabitn2

Lets hope it is the last act of a desperate man.

JKR

This also points to the fact that Harper is scared that he will be out of office soon.

He doesn't want to stand by and watch the Liberals and NDP stack the Senate with 18 non-Conservatives.  That would give the Liberals a huge majority in the Senate. A Senate that would be his only real opposotion if he could ever somehow got a majority.

Harper has shown his cards. He's scared of losing power in January or February.

And if there's an election there's no way he'd ever appoint Senators  before an election. He remembers what happened to John Turner.

Fidel

Man! Harper must be trying to provoke a fight with Iggy right off the bat. :rollyeyes:

jrootham

Come on, unionist, convention says that the GG does EVERYTHING on the advice of the Prime Minister.  That convention just got more conventional.

So, in fact if not in law, the Prime Minister does appoint Senators.

See Kady O'Malley at Inside The Queensway for more details.

 

Fidel

What happened to more accountable and transparent government? How can appointed senators be more accountable to Canadians if it's the lady of the lake and Excalibur tapping these old line party hacks for slots in the senate. I kind of thought herr Harper was acting sure of himself since herr Iggy seized control of the LPC recently

Jacob Two-Two

Does any of this really matter, outside of the issue of Harper's outrageous arrogance? I mean, who cares who's in the senate? What do they do? I know they have some powers technically but I was under the impression that nobody ever uses them. They're the chamber of "sober second thought", right? So it'll be a lot less sober. So what? Who ever listens to them anyhow?

I admit I'm fairly ignorant on this, so maybe someone can enlighten me, but I get the sense that Harper's not trying to "stack" anything, just scratch the right backs while he can in case he gets ousted and he doesn't get the chance later. I think he's just kicking his patronage machine into high gear to be on the safe side.

Jacob Two-Two

Actually, what I think it's mostly about is searching for ways to flex PM muscle because he believes it builds support for him to look like he's still in charge. There'll probably be more stuff like this in the weeks to come that is functionally irrelevent but has authoritarian optics.

Stockholm

The Senate officially has just as much power as the House of Commons. They regularly amend and even reject bills. Back in 1990, the Tories tried to recriminalize abortion - the senate defeated the bill. Right now because the Liberals control the senate they are actually about to vote down and delay all kinds of evil Tory bills.

It does bother me that Harper is stacking the senate. It bothers me that my tax dollars will pay for 18 Tory hacks to collect $140,000 a year for their entire  lives while they do almost nothing.

Fidel

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

 I mean, who cares who's in the senate? What do they do? I know they have some powers technically but I was under the impression that nobody ever uses them. They're the chamber of "sober second thought", right? So it'll be a lot less sober. So what? Who ever listens to them anyhow?

I think it's more a case of who bends the ear of the unelected senate and legislative body of Canadian government. The answer is, increasingly, right-wing think tanks like the Fraser and CD Howe institutes for the last 20 years or so. There was a time when these so-called think tanks espousing neoliberal doctrinaire were considered advocates of extreme  economic and political policies. This senate has no place in a modern democracy

Bookish Agrarian

While the arrogance and hypocriscy of Harper boggles the mind I could use an off-farm job.  So my standing offer to take up the call of the Canadian people and serve in the Senate still stands.

Seriously, how many promises to the core of his party can Harper break and still remain credible? 

 

 

Unionist

jrootham wrote:

Come on, unionist, convention says that the GG does EVERYTHING on the advice of the Prime Minister.  That convention just got more conventional.

So, in fact if not in law, the Prime Minister does appoint Senators.

See Kady O'Malley at Inside The Queensway for more details.

 

 

Where to start with this? How about the end:

1. Did you have a particular Kady O'Malley article in mind, or am I supposed to read her entire blog?

2. Thanks for the revelation that the Prime Minister appoints Senators. I wasn't born yesterday.

3. I responded to a poster who said the G-G doesn't have "anything to do" with appointing Senators by pointing out that the Constitution says that ONLY the G-G has "anything to do" with appointing Senators.

4. Quiz: What do you call a country which has a pretend Constitution, but where in fact all the real power resides in a single individual who isn't even mentioned in the Constitution?

Caissa

4. Answer:  Dictatorship

Stockholm

"3. I responded to a poster who said the G-G doesn't have "anything to do" with appointing Senators by pointing out that the Constitution says that ONLY the G-G has "anything to do" with appointing Senators."

 

Are you serioulsy suggesting that you think that an unelected hereditary monarch should defy the will of an elected government?  have you ever heard of the term "responsible government"?? We have had it in Canada since the 1840s. The ends don't always justify the means and I can't go along with asking the Queen to intervene and stop the PM from doing things that he has the legal right to do. Harper should suffer politically for packing the Senate, but I can't go along with the idea of the monarch intervening.

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:
Are you serioulsy suggesting that you think that an unelected hereditary monarch should defy the will of an elected government? 

No, I'm suggesting she should consider defying the will of a "Prime Minister", who is chosen by his party (not the electors), who has no legal nor constitutional status, and who does not demonstrably enjoy the confidence of Parliament.

Quote:
have you ever heard of the term "responsible government"??

Indeed I have. It means that the Executive Branch should be answerable to the Legislative Branch. In Canada, Parliament - not the Prime Minister, not the Cabinet - is supreme. Responsible government means that the Crown should heed the advice of Parliament. How exactly do you see that happening in this musical-comedy scenario, where Herr Harper rules supreme and Mme Well-Paid Jean bows and scrapes before His Almightiness?

I'm amazed that Canadians: (a) don't read their own Constitution; and (b) allow Responsible Government to be thrown to the winds and reinterpreted as the sovereign reign of the Prime Minister. What a farce - and to be rationalized and defended by progressive people is more than farcical, it is intolerable.

Quote:
We have had it in Canada since the 1840s.

And we're having it still!

Quote:
The ends don't always justify the means and I can't go along with asking the Queen to intervene and stop the PM from doing things that he has the legal right to do.

There you go again. The PM has no "legal right" to do anything. The "legal right" to appoint Senators belongs to the Governor-General. Did you see somewhere in the Constitution where it says: "The above rules are optional and may be changed by tradition."????

If you think the Crown should not act alone, I agree with you. She should act on the express wishes of Parliament. Not some party hack who can be changed any minute by a caucus or membership vote.

Unionist

Thanks, remind - I have done so. Here is my letter in part:

Quote:
I am deeply concerned by the speculation in the media that the Prime
Minister is preparing to "appoint" 18 Senators while Parliament is not
sitting and before the confidence of the House of Commons can be tested.

I looked back at the Constitution Act of 1867, and it appears to me
that the prerogative of appointing Senators belongs, with respect, to
you.

I fully understand the convention of making such appointments on the
advice of the Prime Minister. But surely, without going against his
advice, you could exercise your authority to delay making such
appointments until after the House has had an opportunity to express
its wishes and confidence, in January? I believe the credibility of our democratic
process and of responsible government would be best served in this
manner.

Caissa

I think the Governor-General has placed herself in a position where she probably needs to make these appointments. By granting Harper proogation when she knew he did not have the confidence of the House means she is behaving as if he does have the confidence of the House. I'd like nothing more than for Her to say she will take his suggestions under advisement and consider making them on March 1. I don't see such a scenario transpiring.

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