There's little doubt that Stephen Harper has the authority to lather his bagmen and yesmen (and maybe a yeswoman if he can find one) with senate seats for the holidays. In one of his very first moves as Prime Minister, he appointed one so-called democratically challenged senator, who proceeded to sit at the cabinet table. But while he has the power, this lame-duck leader has tossed away nearly all conviction (well, except when his own Karlheinz comes clean) as he white-knuckles his grasp on power.
I'm not going to get high-and-too-outraged about it, either. As CON-tributors around the blogs have pointed out, Liberals are finely skilled at filling the red chamber. The current score reads 58-20, and there is no doubt that Harper's laggard ways in filling vacancies has slowed down the senate's ability to debate and process the bills sent its way. That the Harper spin remains way off base, that its Liberals stopping his plan to democratize the senate, is just more of his 'throw it and something will stick' routine. A bigger thorn in his plan remains a majority of provinces, some who have a lot of clout.
But I'm completely amused how it remains now a repeated meme from the CON-patrol: The Liberals did it, so can we!
That has become a bigger motto than the Northern Star malarkey, or even the Canada Is Back hoo-haw.
While some PMs have displayed a little sense of contrition by throwing the opposition a bone appointment now and then, this PM has made it clear that he intends to put only true Blue Believers. So while the CON caucus covers its mouth, the CON cabinet covers its ears, he will pack 18 more senators into the comforts of the red chamber to cover its eyes while Harper lamely attempts to seem concillatory.
Canadians can only cover their noses.