Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Which is it Don?

When I read this column by Don Martin, I got to thinking...

Really Don, is this something to complain about? Really?

I mean, when I go back to the Senate pages, the Prime Minister was only doing what the Senate asked for, to whit:

In the 39th Parliament, a topical debate was the growing number of vacant seats in the Senate. It began with Senator Tommy Banks’ spring 2007 inquiry into the Prime Minister’s intention not to make new Senate appointments without electoral consultations by the provinces. Senator Banks and other opposition senators argued that the Prime Minister’s position contravened the Constitution. In particular, shrinking numbers in the Senate reduces the representation of certain regions in Parliament — representation that is those regions’ constitutional right.

On June 7, 2007, and again in the second session on October 23, Senator Wilfred Moore moved a motion urging the governor general to appoint senators without waiting for the prime minister’s advice. Another motion, moved by Senator Banks, encouraged the government to call a meeting with provincial first ministers on the future of Parliament. It was adopted by the Senate on February 13, 2008.

On December 13, 2007, Senator Moore took the further step of introducing Bill S-224. In part, it proposed a deadline for the sitting prime minister’s advice to the governor general on Senate appointments — 180 days after a seat becomes vacant, similar to by-elections. The bill was debated in the winter of 2008 and referred to the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in March.

So, let me see if I have this straight... And please, correct me if I'm wrong here - the senators themselves were complaining that Mr. Harper WASN'T filling seats in the senate, preferring to wait until the provinces elect their own senators, and now you're complaining that he's actually filling those seats in a timely manner, and in an identical manner to his predecessors?

I'm sorry to say, Don, but you can't have it both ways. Either you accept the reality that a Conservative Prime Minister will fill vacant seats with Conservative senators (and this Conservative Prime Minister has done so during 44 months of MINORITY rule no less), or you don't. Either way, it just looks like partisan Liberal whining if you complain about it.

At least there's a bonus to it, Don. If it convinces just one more person to consider reforming the Senate to a Triple "E" senate, then it's a good thing.

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