Friday, October 26, 2007
The Pure Politics of Harper's Senate Plan
Harper's plan to “Reform” the senate is perverse and entirely political. Being unable to “reform” the Senate in one fell swoop, Harper has proposed electing effective Senators piece meal. Under the Conservative plan, new senators would be elected and would be limited to serving out an 8 year term. The problem is that people already in the senate would be free to serve until the age of 75. On the face of it the result of such nonsense would be either to transform an unelected political body with no power into a largely unelected political body with real political power, or commit Canadians to the farcical and expensive act of electing people to office who hold no real power. None of those options are palatable, maybe not even to Harper. What I think Harper hopes to happen that is this. He will argue that only senators who were duely elected have any sort of legitimacy. Such being the case, he will argue that those unelected senators should resign, with the option of running in a future election. Many will refuse to do so and most, if not all, of those will be Liberal senators and presto Harper will have an issue by which to attack the Liberals.