Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The reviews are in

Don Martin:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to stuff the Senate later this week, filling five vacancies and officially placing the Red Chamber under true blue Tory control for the first time in a dozen Liberal-dominated years.

There's speculation at the lucky appointee's names, but none about their common characteristic and responsibilities. They will all be card-carrying Conservatives and swear to vote on PMO command.

With that, the reform of the Senate will be complete. There'll be no pretense of the Senate as a collection of honorable citizens trying to provide a different take on legislation. It'll be a lapdog kennel.
A key priority that drove him to prorogue Parliament was to anoint the official Senate majority, place the legislative study committees under Conservative control and hand out marching orders to his senatorial hand-lickers.

In practice and reality, the Senate will have become an extension of the elected Conservative caucus, their robotic role confined to expediting government legislation without meddlesome examination or hostile amendment.
Starting with the return of Parliament in early March, Canada's revamped Senate will be under Conservative control and, just like any other prime minister, Mr. Harper will count every vote and tolerate no dissent from those who slow or obstruct his agenda.

It's reason enough to drive an honourable Senator to think about drink. It's also enough to reinforce any thoughts Canadians might have about abolishing their jobs as a cost-savings measure.

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