Saturday, January 30, 2010

The reviews are in

The Star-Phoenix editorial board:
Only the most cynical or deluded would continue to argue that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to stack the Senate on Friday had anything to do with his perpetual promise of reform.
(S)ince his days in the Reform Party, Mr. Harper has championed a modern Senate that would be elected, effective and equal. However, as PM, he has contributed disproportionately through rhetoric and actions to denigrating this branch of government.

This has been particularly so with Mr. Harper's perpetual insistence that it's been the Senate that has stalled his "law and order" agenda.

However, it's an agenda he has repeatedly thrown under the bus of political expediency -- whether that was to ignore having set-date elections, circumventing the constitutional responsibility to answer to Parliament, or ducking parliamentary committee hearings into allegations that the Conservative government left the military dangling over claims that soldiers handed over Afghan detainees to torturers.
True reform of the Senate will require the will of a majority of Canadians and the provinces, as well as Parliament's. Until the country can muster that courage, however, it will continue to be abused by one prime minister or the other pursuing more unchecked power.

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