When I think of those new Senate appointments, I am reminded of I Claudius. In that book, the Roman elite were allowed to sodomize and assassinate one another and sleep with animals and, frankly, the people didn't care. In fact, they didn't even care when the Emperor Caligula appointed a horse to the Senate, so clearly, Harper has a fair bit of leeway. Unless he's done that already. I don't remember.
Anyway, it was only when the finances of the Empire got so screwed up that Caligula was forced to raise taxes that people got ugly.