I thought that once the results of the federal election were announced and we had a Conservative majority with an NDP opposition we would have seen the end of the Senate as we know it. Harper has spoken for years about Senate reform and the NDP is in favour of abolishing the Senate which is a little extreme in my opinion, not to mention that the Conservatives have the majority in the upper chamber. You would think that Harper would have jumped at the opportunity to make the Senate an elected body.
It was to my surprise and to the surprise of many Canadians (even Conservatives) that the Prime Minister decided to award three failed candidates with appointments to the Senate, appointments that will see these failed politicians with, not only a salary paid by you the taxpayer, but also a pension. Now I can get past the appointments and the lack of action to reform the senate. It is early and the Prime Minister just appointed his Cabinet, but what I cannot get over is that Mr. Harper decided to give these three seats to people to whom the Canadian voters said “No Thank You.”
Can the Prime Minister honestly tell Canadian voters that he is a defender of democracy when he appoints his failed candidates to government? That’s right. In a statement the Prime Minister said, “Our government will continue to push for a more democratic, accountable and effective Senate.”
The double speak coming from the PMO is nearly 1984 worthy. He says he will push for a more democratic and accountable senate yet he appoints members who were rejected by the electorate. Harper has a majority and an opposition who would vote with him to make the Senate an elected body, and with control of the Senate he would have no problem pushing legislation through the upper chamber. Why would Harper say he will push for change when he could simply make change happen?
Not to mention the Conservative’s ongoing rhetoric about smaller government. Harper proved that he is not one to practice what he preaches when he appointed the largest Cabinet since the Mulroney days. Harper says his government will focus on the economy and lower taxes. News flash, Mr. Prime Minister: a larger government will cost taxpayers more money, so if you really are in favour of fiscal conservatism you should have dropped about a dozen ministers to save the Canadian taxpayer millions of dollars.
In the days and weeks to come we will see just how Mr. Harper and his horde of Ministers will conduct business. They will need to cut spending across the board to honour their campaign promises to keep taxes low and to cut costs. At the same time, they will need to find money for the new Cabinet portfolios, the new fighter jet contract, the promised increase to healthcare, and a number of other promises. It explains why they were such big proponents of bringing the HST to British Columbia. It allowed them to forget about ditching the GST while taxing items that were not taxed before the introduction of the HST to B.C.