Harper Appoints Defeated Conservative Candidates To Senate

One of Conservative leader — and Prime Minister — Stephen Harper’s electoral platforms since first running for election was to reform the appointed Canadian Senate. The house of “sober second thought” was filled with political appointees-for-life, who were seen increasingly as nothing but partisan dinosaurs. 

Given, however, that Harper never had the political clout necessary to effect change — namely, a majority government — he has held his nose and played along, filling the Senate with his own partisan picks when he had the chance and biding his time until the opportunity arose to facilitate real change.

However, his latest move even has Harper loyalists wondering what he’s thinking. Three candidates in the May 2 election, all of whom were defeated at the polls, have just been given the political influence the voters stated clearly they didn’t want these candidates to have: they were all appointed to the Senate. Two candidates (Larry Smith and Fabian Manning) were formerly members of the Senate who specifically resigned their posts in order to run in the election; the third, Josee Verner, lost her incumbent seat.

Senate reform is not an unpopular concept among Canadians, particularly given recent revelations about attendance, overspending and lack of actual work performed by those in the Upper House. This move, however, is such a blatant nose-thumbing at the electorate that it’s actually baffling to contemplate. This move says to the electorate, your opinion doesn’t matter: These people are going to be in Parliament one way or another and your votes are irrelevant. Your voice is irrelevant.

The move was likely designed to spur desire for Senate reform in the electorate, but was it a step too far? What else will Harper try to pull over on the Canadian public in the next four years? And crucially, will Canadians notice? Or care?

Related Stories:

Big Blue Book of Controversial Harper Quotes Leaked

Canada Has Voted and It Isn’t Pretty: Conservative Majority

Canada Elects Its First Green Member of Parliament

 

Photo credit: M_Walzeriksson on Flickr

51 comments

J C Bro
J C Brou5 years ago

Oh my!

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson5 years ago

the usual awful behavior...we have four hard years ahead of us...

Steve Solo
Steve Solo5 years ago

ah every Canadians dream a senate seat... imagine being appointed (cooed the right leader..) to the upper house for life .. wow that would buy someone a new truck. Well it wont happen here 'I've been checking it out and it can't happen here' FZ 1966.. oh this old hippy got sidetracked ... Losers get another chance .. yeah 4 more years to become the republican party .. where are the progressives? Politics is a stupid game if you are not the one chosen .. No one man can run a successful corporation alone .. we need voter opinion on policy changes .. too bad they don't teach that in school anymore... I echo! I filled out the census2011 online if they had asked me what I thought about F35s I would have given them my position right there ... missed opportunity to be counted correctly ... "we got more dirt on that guy.. doesn't agree with the calvinistic republican doctrine .." c'mon MichaelMac once a Canadian always a Canadian ... I think that Lorrain B should write the next story .. eh my fellow Candians?

Ann Fox
Ann Fox5 years ago

I did not vote for Harper. Over the years Harper seems like a Dictator to me and this just proves it! My way or the highway! This type of attitude was on the Titanic...look where it is!

Alexandra Rodda
Alexandra Rodda5 years ago

It is a sad day for democracy when leaders feel empowered to thumb their noses at the will of the people.

Eug F.
Eug F.5 years ago

@ Marajaana. Who votes Green?? Well in the election prior to this one, over one million Canadians voted for Greens but because of our antiquated system of electing politicans, the Greens did not get one MP. In Alberta, however, 800K Reform voters sent about 25 MPs to Ottawa. How fair it that for god's sake? Canada needs proportional representation!!

Eug F.
Eug F.5 years ago

@ Laureen. After living for about 20 years in Alberta, Im used to that sort of lopsided thinking (?) and foaming-at-the-mouth anger. Im betting Lorraine is a dyed-in-the-wool reformer residing in Alberta! How can I tell? Theyre still whining about Trudeaus NEP-well just like Lorraine is. I sometimes wish that the province would either seperate (and take the 27 Conservative MPs with them) or sink back into the swamp that spewed it. Glad to be out of there. Hang in there-most agree with you.

Hope S.
Hope Sellers5 years ago

Politics in Canada not much different from US.

Roz Klaiman
Roz Klaiman5 years ago

Another Harper nose thumbing activity to the Canadian voter, huh? Guess the 60% of potential voters who failed to vote might have to rethink their strategy - although it's a bit late now. Our schools have to get back to teaching the responsibilities and obligations as well as the rights of living in a democracy.

Laureen N.
Laureen N5 years ago

Here's one final comment to Lorraine B, if she should look at this site once again for responses to my comments, which I think you just might:
I realize that my comments seemed to fill you with rage and I really hope I don't cause you to have a stroke. Please take care of yourself. It seems you have real difficulty with dealing with anybody who does not exactly mirror your points of view.

What's it like to be so angry, Lorraine?