Wednesday, January 29, 2014

LPC Senate Change: The View Of A Tory Insider

Keith Beardsley is a Tory insider.  Smart guy.  Not obviously insane.  His angle on Justin's shock announcement this morning is surely worth noting:

It interesting to see how the Conservative Senate caucus responds. How many of them will decide they would now like to become independent like their former Liberal colleagues? If enough Conservative senators decide to sit as independents it will change the dynamics of getting legislation through the upper house. The government side would be faced with convincing individual senators of the merits of legislation, rather than being able to demand loyalty to pass legislation.

As for other reactions, WK and LK  make an obvious point: this move will look less clever should the LPC form a government in 2015 and have to run legislation through a group of independents rather than hacks and lapdogs.  But what if this eventually becomes just the way things are?  Senators become a bit more like their U.S. counterparts.  If you were a lobby group, and swung one Indy-Senator to your side, how successfully could you delay an adverse bill?  Or if you were an environmental group?  Would negotiation become the order of the day?

I dunno, and in the end it could all be political theatrics.  Made Wednesday more interesting, however.


gingersnap said...

Herr Harper's henchmen, are far too afraid to oppose Harper on anything. Those who could not stand being, Harper's trained Seals leave. The rest are, useless, spineless gutless wonders.

One of Harper's best trained Seals is Andrew Scheer. Calandra is Harper's Gobbels.

Good for Trudeau. His Senators will still be supported. Most Canadians detest Harper's Senators. They steal far too often. There is a Liberal Senator in prison for thieving a much lesser sum. Harb gets no support from anyone. Let us see, how many of Harper's thieves go to prison?

jrkrideau said...

I don't see senators as independents being serious impediment to passing good legislation. From what I have heard and read, senators on various committees tend to be much more knowledgeable about the subject areas and the implications of legislation and regulation than the average MP. They have the time to thoughtfully review issues and are under far less pressure from crass political pressure. If anything a less adversarial approach to proposed legislation would result in better legislation even it at times it meant sending the bill back to the House.

Bad legislation would be more likely to be blocked or amended. Some of the more idiotic moves by the Cons gov't such as the repeal of the Navigable Waters Protection Act would have been unlikely have happened.

The argument that we would get something like the US circus is not really sustainable. The US Senate is a) intensely politicized (remember the Tea Party) and b) heavily dependent upon donations to run election campaigns, that is, very vulnerable to lobbying efforts, and c) can initiate their own legislation.