Sunday, September 13, 2015

On caretakers

Since there's been plenty of talk lately about caretaker governments and their duty to exercise restraint, I'll raise one question as to the appointments made the last time a new federal government took office.

The day he and his Cabinet were sworn in, and two months before Parliament convened following the 2006 federal election, Stephen Harper announced the Senate appointment of Michael Fortier. And while there was plenty of outrage over Harper's first (if far from his last) breach of a promise not to appoint unelected Senators, I don't recall there being any serious question raised as to whether the appointment also went beyond what a new government leader could do before confirming his support in the House of Commons.

That said, it's worth asking the question now: should any major appointments by a new minority government be deferred until after it's established that it can win a vote of confidence in Parliament?

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