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Say YES to Senate Appointments
Posted By Senator Elaine McCoy Dec 11 2008 02:06PM

Here's the scoop … we need more Senators.  More specifically, the Conservative Senators need help.  Being so few, they are stretched to the limit (and perhaps further).  Committee work has suffered as a result.  Delays and reduced participation in hearings are just two symptoms of the incredible load each of the Conservative Senators is carrying.   Canadians deserve better.  The Senate's committee reports have consistently served our country well.  If anybody needed a reminder, today's story about airport security should be sufficient.  Not to mention the Mental Health Commission, which is one of the Senate's gifts to the country.

 

So I look forward to Mr. Harper's appointments.  I only hope he's mindful of the kind of Senators we need.  Here are four criteria by which I will judge the quality of his appointments:

§         independence of mind

§         outstanding service to the country

§         reputation for fairness

§         commitment to a united Canada

 

You'll notice that party affiliation is not one of my criteria.   I know many Conservatives who fulfil all the qualifications I've outlined.  And the Senate will only get better if we have lively, intelligent debates fueled by healthy differences of opinion.  I'll remain optimistic that the Prime Minister rises to the occasion.

 



Comments
Posted On Dec 13 03:14PM   
crownviccanada

I agree that it's the Prime Minister's duty to appoint Senators. That is part of our constitution whether or not Mr. Harper likes it or not. However, what upsets me is to see a PM who contastantly talks about Senate Reform turn around and appoint a Senator on his first day of office and then want to appoint 18 more. Mr. Harper can't have it both ways. We need a leader who is honest about their views on the Senate and who will appoint the best people, like the Globe and Mail said today. Paul Martin was like that and appointed great people from all parties like Senator McCoy. Appointing someone like John Reynolds or making Marjory LeBreton the leader shows that Harper is doing the opposite.


Posted On Dec 13 03:14PM   
crownviccanada

I agree that it's the Prime Minister's duty to appoint Senators. That is part of our constitution whether or not Mr. Harper likes it or not. However, what upsets me is to see a PM who contastantly talks about Senate Reform turn around and appoint a Senator on his first day of office and then want to appoint 18 more. Mr. Harper can't have it both ways. We need a leader who is honest about their views on the Senate and who will appoint the best people, like the Globe and Mail said today. Paul Martin was like that and appointed great people from all parties like Senator McCoy. Appointing someone like John Reynolds or making Marjory LeBreton the leader shows that Harper is doing the opposite.


Posted On Dec 12 05:27PM   
maitressedelouest

In addition to your fine criteria, I would only add that I hope he appoints Senators from diverse (ethnic/cultural) backgrounds and not just white anglophones or francophones (not that there's anything wrong with either but we've plenty of that perspective already).  Having a Senate as diverse as the Canadian populace would not only be just and fair, but would bring some fresh perspectives to the table.

And lots of women too, please!

 


Posted On Dec 12 02:33PM   
Rural

I am a strong supporter of the "chamber of sober second thought" and, having read several of the, largely ignored but comprehensive, reports produced by senate committees do indeed think that they do good work. Whilst not convinced that we currently select senators in the best way I can but hope that Harper's selections will "see the light" and not be overly partisan in their actions if and when appointed. However I am not optimistic that his selections will be "for the good of the country" but may well be more aimed at "for the good of the party", not that this is anything new from any PM!

 

 


Posted On Dec 12 11:55AM   
selim

I don't think anything will upset those Reformers when it comes to Harper.  They're zealots.  And if the PM includes some rabid reformers in the 18 appointments, they'll think he's a genius.  Too bad, but there you go.


Posted On Dec 11 03:17PM   
Dallan

Frankly, if the Reform base held through Fortier and the fixed-election mess, they'll hold through this. I agree that this move from the PM is long overdue, and hopefully he'll make choices worthy of what the job should be (or at the very least, what it is), instead of what his base (and his public statements) have construed it as.

The Book of Pale Shadows


Posted On Dec 11 02:57PM   
runesmith

Hear hear!  But do you think this move will hurt Harper with the more principled members of his western Reform base who are so dead-set against an appointed senate?



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