Monday, September 7, 2009

What To Make of Harper's Senate Appointments

I've been trying to figure out where to come down on the Prime Minister's latest Senate appointments.  There was an immediate backlash, claiming that Harper was turning his back on his previous stance against an appointed senate, and abusing his power for cynical political gain.  This argument has some definite appeal.

On the other had, as Prime Minister it is his duty to make such appointments.  No province but Alberta has put into place any mechanism for democratically electing senators, and no federal government has altered the make up of our government to force a democratic mechanism for choosing senators.  Those things cannot be blamed on Stephen Harper.  Further, as bad as the "but they did it first" argument is, Canada is not well served when one party will "abuse their power" and another won't.

Of course, the dumbest part of this whole issue is that we're talking about appointing senators.  Is that really democracy?

Anyway, Richard Albert has his own take on the controversy, and it's worth the read.  The reader comments are vacuous and partisan, there are only two of them (as of this writing), but I'd suggest ignoring them.

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