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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Justin Trudeau's Senate gong show

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.


Robert Tripp said...

If JT JR was looking for attention, he certainly got it. Of course the MSM lapped it up and he's made out to be a hero with such decisiveness and a true leader for his abruptly impulsive act. Looking at the 'cause and effect' aspects though, it's worthy of another look. It can also be perceived as a cowardly act, and an actual dodging of duty as far as the "opposition" goes. A pulling out of the proverbial rug, and attempting to isolate and lay accountability totally upon the Conservatives is more bush league than anything else. I think we're in agreement re. the need of Senate reformation, and hopefully its eventual abolition as an unnecessary institution. Let the old boys (and a few girls) settle the big problems down at the Lodge or local watering hole...NOT on the public dime. Yes, TrueDough JR thinks he's got the moves like Jagger, but he's still looking a lot like "another Justin", as in Bieber, a.k.a. most potential train-wreck in the Canadian political arena.

Earl Jones said...

Does this mean that should Justine become PM that he will only appoint conservative,ndp or greens to the senate. Or as he also said will he only appoint Quebeciors as they are the best ,like he said.

Anonymous said...

The nice thing about what he has done is freed the Liberal senators from centralized control. A true reformer and libertarian would not just support this measure but urge its adoption by the H of C and other parties. Free your Senators, Free your Mind!

Anonymous said...

A true Reformer would want elected Senators. Mr. Trudeau's lame-ass plan suggests a panel (no doubt elites) pick new Senators for quality and fairness. Conservatives need not apply.

bertie said...

Does this mean that the leader of the Liberal party of Canada HATES LIBERALS

Anonymous said...

Politically this was a genius idea. The former liberal caucus has stated that they will remain a caucus in the senate. The point of this action was genius, it was meant to show that he is going for office with the intention to DO things. To change what is broken in our political system. It shows people that he is going into 2015 with their interests in mind, not necessarily the party's. The Senate is meant to be a place of second thought where they decide whether to pass the legislation or not, not a political battle ground which it has become.

Anonymous said...

Harper must be over the moon at this point.

Trudeau the Elder, for all his faults, was not an incompetent buffoon. When he said he would set out to do something, you can bet he wasn’t going to backpedal just because he put his foot in his mouth.

Trudeau the Younger still has yet to demonstrate he isn’t an incompetent buffoon who’s only there because of his daddy’s name. The first clue as to what awaited him in office was the attack ad that aired following his coronation. It had its desired affect: to burst the dauphin’s bubble and destroy his honeymoon. The second clue was delivered last week, when Harper served clear notice the little boy really needs to watch his mouth (because Harper’s researchers most definitely are). Up until Justin came on the scene, Thomas Mulcair was poised to take the lion’s share of bullets in Harper’s legendary – and might I add highly effective – attack ads. Now The Bearded One has some breathing room as the new guy suffers the endless barrage of Tory stink bombs.