Saturday, 03 August 2013
Home arrow CCFD Newsletters arrow More arrow State of the Nation - September 2008
Main Menu
Get Feeds

For more list, remember to the informtion for the sttin if you re tking Crestor rosuvsttin, simvsttin, crestor . Study that venlafaxine Effexor be a first-line for depression than SSRIs. effexor eating disorders . XR is inhibitor SNRI in of, pnic nd socil...

Wednesday, 01 October 2008

Which sounds better -- electing senators or paying a carbon tax?

Who would have predicted – who could have predicted – that Canada would one day fight a national election on reforming the Senate?

Yet so we are. Notwithstanding the huge concern of all parties about global financial problems, the 2008 election has also been cast as a contest between Stephane pleading for a carbon tax to save the planet, and Stephen advocating an elected Senate for the good of Canada.

It began this summer, when Dion launched his problematic “Green Shift,” and household mailers from Tory MPs focused on Senate reform.

From Harper’s perspective, there could be no more promising issue.

Senate reform is not in any strict ideological sense a “conservative” issue, but it’s popular and the Conservatives own it. For twenty years, polls have shown it to be supported by about three-quarters of Canadians in all regions (even Quebec) and of all political leanings (even NDP).

It is also useful. If f the Senate is reformed properly, and the Upper House becomes truly independent, it will provide the first meaningful check on the power of a majority Prime Minister since Mackenzie King centralized federal power in the 1940s – arguably since the country began in 1867.

At this point we’ll award high marks for anyone who asks, “But why would Harper curtail his own power?”

The answer is, he won’t. He will curtail the power of his successors.

Even if he gets a majority in the Commons, it will take six more years of Senate retirements before elected members outnumber appointed ones. It will be nine years before two-thirds are elected. If Harper remains Prime Minister during that time, he will have control of the reform process from beginning to end, but will probably never face an independent Upper House himself.

Social and fiscal conservatives have learned that Harper is still leery of fighting elections on “right-wing” causes. Canada’s urban majority is not conservative, it is a herd easily frightened – by gun owners, by the “A” word, by car exhaust, by free speech, and by Quebec separatism. Harper is determined not to give Dion the slightest opportunity to start a Chretien-style political stampede back to the Liberals.

But there is nothing faintly scary about electing Canada’s Senate. In fact, it appeals to almost everyone.

< Prev   Next >
Top! Top!