Saturday, August 29, 2009

The New 'Patronage King' Does the Back Step Polka

As I pointed out in another post, Former Prime Minister John Turner wore the patronage appointments of Pierre Trudeau, and Brian Mulroney in the debates leading up to the 1984 election, made sure that he did.

So who will wear the patronage appointments of Stephen Harper? Where is his crack team, and heaven forbid his elected MPs? Why is no one standing their ground? They must be hearing rumblings of this in their home ridings.

Harper, once the mouthpiece for an elected senate, has just made some of the most blatant patronage selections to the upper chamber in Canadian history. The last time it was this bad was when 18 Conservative buddies were given these prestigious seats, and that was by Conservative PM ... hmmm .... oh, yeah ... Stephen Harper. I guess he beat his own record. He should be so proud.

But for any members of his caucus who want to use the tired "I had no option but to go along", as Brian Mulroney said to John Turner "You had an option sir ... it was an avowal of failure". It cost John Turner the election. Something to think about.

A BCer in Toronto provides links to the headlines shown in the video:

PM now the king of Senate patronage

Tory boss says he's qualified for job

Harper dubbed 'patronage king'

Stuffing the Senate

Critics blast PM over appointments

Harper's Senate picks have strong Tory links

Harper joins the crony club

Harper names Tory pals to Senate

But let's hear it straight from the horse's ass ... er ... I mean mouth.

In his own words: Senate Harpocrisy
August 27, 2009

"We don't support any Senate appointments."(Stephen Harper, Winnipeg Free Press, January 29, 1996)

"Despite the fine work of many individual Senators, the Upper House remains a dumping ground for the favoured cronies of the Prime Minister."(Stephen Harper Leadership Website, January 15, 2004)

"In the 21st century, those who want to sit in the parliament of a democratic state should have a mandate from the people." (Stephen Harper, February 7, 2006)

"A conservative government will not appoint to the senate anyone who does not have a mandate from the people."(Conservative Party website during 2006 election)

"As everyone in this room knows, it has become a right of passage for aspiring leaders and prime ministers to promise Senate reform - on their way to the top - but once they are elected, Senate reform quickly falls to the bottom of the Government's agenda. Nothing ever gets done."(Stephen Harper, Speech on Senate Reform before Senate Committee, September 7, 2006)

"I don't plan to appoint senators; that's not my intention."(Stephen Harper, Cornwall Standard-Freeholder, January 14, 2006)

"Stephen Harper will cease patronage appointments to the Senate. Only candidates elected by the people will be named to the Upper House."(Stephen Harper Leadership Website, January 15, 2004)

"I challenge Mr. Martin, once he becomes Prime Minister, to turn a page on the past, and appoint only elected Senators to the Upper House." (Stephen Harper, Canadian Alliance Press Release, July 4, 2003)

"Canadians from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia remain ashamed of Canada`s senior legislative body. They are ashamed the Prime Minister continues the disgraceful, undemocratic appointment of undemocratic Liberals to the undemocratic Senate to pass all too often undemocratic legislation."(Stephen Harper, Hansard, March 7, 1996)

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