Friday, February 02, 2007

The Air Goes Out Of That Tory Trial Balloon

Quebec does not support the Tories' "plan" for an "elected" Senate. The "plan" requires the Feds to :

...conduct a form of plebiscite [in concert with Federal elections], likely only within provinces that have Senate vacancies.

The results would be presented as information to a prime minister to consider when filling a vacancy.

However, Quebec's resident constitutional expert, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Benoit Pelletier, argues that you would have to open the Constitution to even effect such small changes to Senate election procedures as Stephen Harper is proposing.

This news is from a couple of days ago, but I have seen nothing since in the MSM or in the blogosphere. I assume this is because nobody really expected this particular Conservative plan to go anywhere, not even its supporters. Because if you have both Quebec and Ontario against a scheme, which you do in this case, it's dead. I assume it was a trial balloon sent aloft by the Stephen Harper government to draw fire and ink and given the illusion of progress on an issue near and dear to the heart of the party's political base. People like Andrew Coyne should feel betrayed.

But the bottom line is: in Quebec they will never be able to vote for Mitsou, and I will never be able to vote for Galactus. Furthermore, it means my own Senate hopes are effectively dead. Luckily I didn't order up posters yet.

1 comment:

MgS said...

The great irony is that this "reform" of Harper's doesn't oblige the government making the nominations to do anything with the results of the plebiscite.

In other words, there is a pseudo electoral process there, but there is nothing that actually changes the process itself - or even the convention of process by which a senator is appointed.

More or less, there's a facade there, and behind it, the PMO still makes the nomination to the GG.

What's changed? Besides burning a few million of taxpayer's dollars on the facade.