Stephen Harper's overarching goal since he signed up with the Reform Party has been to shift Canada's political centre far and permanently to the right. With the collaboration of the Liberals, now Conservative-Lites, and the NDP, now Latter Day Liberals, Harper has succeeded handsomely.
A secondary goal was to change Canada's Senate. Either an elected Senate with new rules for distribution or outright abolition. It seems we're all lining up to hand him that win too.
It's not easy to hold much regard for the Senate any longer. That in large part results from how Harper has stacked it heavily (but not entirely) with hucksters, hangers-on and rank third-raters. Go to the website, check out their biographies and see for yourself. These are the "best and the brightest"? As you drag yourself through the Harper appointees it becomes apparent how they qualified to be chosen - they're all Conservative and they're all utterly obedient.
There hasn't been one Conservative senator turfed from caucus for disagreeing with or standing up to Harper. Those ousted from caucus - Brazeau, Wallin, Duffy - get dumped because of scandal that gets beyond the ability of Harper to conceal.
The prime minister is going to miss Pam Wallin and Mike Duffy's fundraising prowess but he will enjoy their parting gift - a growing clamour for the abolition of the Senate.
What becomes obvious as you work your way through Harper's appointments is the blatant contempt in which he holds our country and its institutions. Unlike every Liberal and Progressive Conservative prime minister, Harper did not cross partisan lines
Our deviant prime minister, in his unbridled contempt for Canada and our institutions, has perverted the Senate and now he wants to use that as leverage to get everyone to go along with its abolition. He's not ready to move yet but he's biding his time. He's even got his newly-minted minister of democratic reform, Pierre Pipsqueak, to opine that Harper can transform the Senate to his liking without the consent of the provinces. That Poilievre's mind is as deviant as the prime minister's is obvious in the logic that any future prime minister with a majority could then also rejig the Senate to suit his whim. And we're supposed to look to this guy for advice on our democracy?
We don't need to do Harper's bidding and wage a campaign to abolish the Senate. There is a vital role for it to play. It simply needs to be reconstituted with the sort of people best suited to serve the country in an overseer role. To those who say we need an elected Senate I would ask them to take a hard look at the calibre of people electoral politics seats in the Commons.
What might work is a clear statement of who should be appointed to the Senate, what type of person, to fulfill what obligations. We should stipulate that a prime minister should nominate individuals representative of the country at large, across party and ideological lines. It should be made clear that those becoming Senators are beholden solely to their country and home province. It should be provided that those nominated for appointment should be of the best character with a demonstrated record of achievement and service.
We need to rebuke Harper. We need to reconstitute the Senate, not abolish it. We need to ensure that no future Harper can ever repeat his disgusting deed.