Monday, December 22, 2008

Harper Senate Appointments

Most of the appoiintees I know little about. I assume most have some Conserative connections. Pamela Wallin also served on the Manley Afghan independent farce. Maybe Harper has a crush on her. There are not that many women. I wonder if Duffy will still have his Mike Duffy live. Maybe he could broadcast from the Senate.

That Harper did this while the house was prorogued and while he clearly did not have the confidence of the parliament shows how little respect he has for the parliamentary system. Harper says that the appointments should be made by an elected govt. even though that govt. did not have the confidence of parliament which is why he got parliament prorogued. Actually more people voted for the parties in the coalition than for the Conservatives.

Wallin, Duffy among 18 named to fill Senate seats
Last Updated: Monday, December 22, 2008 2:17 PM ET
CBC News
Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks away following a television interview with Mike Duffy in Ottawa in February 2007. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)Prime Minister Stephen Harper named 18 people to the Senate on Monday, filling all the vacancies in an effort to balance out the Liberal-dominated chamber before the possibility of an election in the new year.
Among those appointed to regionally distributed seats in the upper house were former broadcaster Pamela Wallin (Sask.), Olympian Nancy Greene Raine (B.C.) and CTV broadcaster Mike Duffy (P.E.I.).
Harper's announcement sets a record for the most Senate appointments by a prime minister in a single day.
Others who were named to the Senate are:
Former MP Fabian Manning (N.L.).
Lawyer Fred Dickson (N.S.).
Stephen Greene, former deputy chief of staff to N.S. Premier Rodney MacDonald (N.S.).
N.S. businessman Michael L. MacDonald (N.S.).
Long-time New Brunswick MLA and cabinet minister Percy Mockler (N.B.).
Lawyer John D. Wallace (N.B.).
National chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples Patrick Brazeau (Que.).
Former MP and teacher Suzanne Fortin-Duplessis (Que.).
Director of Via Rail Canada Leo Housakos (Que.).
Former Quebec MNA Michel Rivard (Que.).
Nicole Eaton, member of the prominent Eaton family (Ont.).
Businessman Irving Gerstein (Ont.).
Co-founder of the Corean Canadian Coactive (C3) society Yonah Martin (B.C.).
Provincial cabinet minister Richard Neufeld (B.C.).
Former Yukon MLA Hector Daniel Lang (Yukon).
Move thwarts coalition appointments
The prime minister said he filled the vacancies to prevent a potential Liberal-NDP coalition from getting the opportunity.
)"If Senate vacancies are to be filled … they should be filled by the government that Canadians elected rather than by a coalition that no one voted for," Harper said in a press release.
He vowed to continue pushing for Senate reforms, and said all incoming Senators had promised to support eight-year term limits and other Senate reform legislation.
"For our part, we will continue working with the provinces and reform-minded parliamentarians to build a more accountable and democratic Senate," said Harper.
Opposition parties have been critical of Harper's decision to make patronage appointments during a time when Parliament is prorogued, saying the prime minister does not have the confidence of the House of Commons.
In early December, Harper asked Gov. Gen. Michaƫlle Jean to prorogue Parliament until Jan. 26, a move aimed at avoiding a confidence vote in which opposition parties planned to topple his minority government and try to bring a Liberal-NDP coalition to power.
But the opposition parties could still trigger an election on Jan. 27 when the minority Conservatives introduce their annual budget, and Harper is worried about losing the chance to fill the seats, said CBC's Margo McDiarmid.
2 prior Senate appointments
Harper's appointment of senators marks a significant departure from his long-held position that Senate members should be elected.
Until now, the prime minister held off filling the 18 vacancies in hopes of reforming the Senate to make sure members are elected, but he has been unable to pass any legislation to that effect.
Prior to Monday's appointments, Liberal-affiliated senators occupied 58 of the 105 seats, while 20 were held by Conservatives. Other seats are held by Independents and senators of other party affiliations.
The Tories had previously only named Quebecer Michael Fortier and Albertan Bert Brown to the Senate since coming to power in early 2006.
Following the January 2006 election of a Conservative minority government, Harper gave Fortier a seat in the Senate and then appointed him to a cabinet post, a decision he said was to ensure representation for Montreal. The Montreal lawyer resigned from his Senate seat for an unsuccessful bid in the October election.
Brown won his seat in an election in Alberta, the only province to elect senators. In November, Saskatchewan introduced legislation to allow voters to choose senators.
Also Monday, Harper made another high-profile appointment — naming Thomas Cromwell of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court.
By doing so, the prime minister bypassed a parliamentary hearing process he has championed to more openly scrutinize nominees.With files from the Canadian Press

1 comment:

Patrick Ross said...

While you may want to insist that Harper's appointments demonstrate that Harper has little respect for the politics, you may want to consider this:

The Liberal/NDP's refusal to officially abandon their Coalition government proposal with the Bloc Quebecois -- one that the majority of Canadians oppose -- demonstrates their lack of respect for Canadians.

If asked to choose between a politician who allegedly l0acks respect for Parliament and politicians who lack respect for the Canadian people, I personally know who I'll choose.