Apparently Justin Trudeau got up this morning, drank his latté, and without consulting anyone involved, decided to abolish the Liberal Party's caucus in the Senate. He's being cautiously hailed by the confused punditry for his "bold move" that "seizes the agenda" on Senate reform. Really? Has he thought this out, or does he just make things up as he goes along?
This move has serious implications that I fear have not been considered. Who is now the opposition to the Tories in the Senate? Who is the Opposition Leader? What happens to the budget for the Senate Opposition? Who sits on Senate Committees? I'm not a fan of the Liberal Party, but Trudeau has just abdicated his responsibility to provide principled opposition, debate and criticism in the upper chamber - now the Tories are virtually unopposed there. This is an agenda?
Senate reform is a necessary and serious business. It has to be done by consultations with the provinces and regions that the Senate is supposed to provide with a counterbalance to the domination of large populations in the House of Commons. Various proposals have been put forward for the reform or abolition of the Senate which have to be carefully considered before embarking on the long and difficult process of amending the Constitution. Changing the Senate is difficult on purpose - it forces politicians and political parties to articulate a plan and sell its merits to the voters, then seek compromise to achieve a new model that is acceptable to the House of Commons, the Senate and the majority of people in the majority of provinces with the majority of the population. Senate reform should NOT be done on the whim of a single person who happens to be the leader of the Third Party when he has a light-bulb-over-the-head moment while staring at himself in the mirror one morning.
Trudeau's proposal is idiotic. However, it may serve a greater purpose. I think the best Conservative strategy for dealing with the Liberals from now until the next election is to let Justin be Justin. The more he preens in front of press scrums in the Commons lobby and theatrically tosses out poorly-thought-out policies off the top of his head, the more even his star-struck fans will realize what an airhead he is. The Tory campaign attack ads will practically write themselves. Since he's been leader he has only articulated two major policy proposals - legalizing marijuana and firing Liberal Senators. The best is yet to come, folks - stay tuned.