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The qualifications that got certain folks picked as Conservative Senators

Pamela Wallin:  I’ll say going along with and agreeing to  the conclusions of the Harper hand-picked Afghanistan panel in order to bolster the Prime Minister’s case about staying the course in Afghanistan and allowing him to use the report as a political weapon to attack the opposition parties would be the qualification in Harper’s eyes for her.

Nancy Greene – Canadian Olympic gold medallist, and climate change sceptic. Yup, I can see why that would catch Harper’s attention;  it fits right in with his party’s disregard for climate change and his own doubts about it (remember the “so-called greenhouse gases” quotation he did?)

Mike Duffy: Not much needs to be said about him, does it? He’s been pitching Conservative kool-aid for years, highlighted this past election campaign by his deplorable and unethical decision to show the “re-start” interview of Stephane Dion. If Mike was doing a try-out for the Senate by displaying his Conservative bias off for everyone to see, it’s obviously worked for him.  The one good thing about that appointment; we get Duffy off of the air, though I won’t be surprised if  CTV replaces him with someone not much better.

Michel Rivard:  Ah, my most favourite one of all: this fellow was a member of the PQ caucus in the midst of the 1995 Quebec referendum, on the side of  and campaigning with Jacques Parizeau and Lucien Bouchard trying to break up Canada (and almost succeeding). After hearing the past month about separatists being evil incarnate and the Coalition having sold their souls to secessionists, this one has to be the pick with the most chutzpah on display from Harper.

The rest of them can be summarized by Adam Radwanski:

…the Prime Minister opted for a b-list of bagmen, mid-level backroom boys and relatively minor provincial politicians.

Another Harper principle thrown out the door.


6 comments to The qualifications that got certain folks picked as Conservative Senators

  • @The Grumpy Voter

    a) What’s a “non-partisan” blogger doing on the Blogging Tories blogroll, Grumpy? That doesnt look so “non-partisan” to me 🙂

    b) Since you’re quoting WK, I’ll quote back the reply I gave to him in his comments:

    Sure, journalists are allowed to have viewpoints, but when they’re hosting a politics show and do nothing but parrot Conservative talking points to non-Conservative guests, and then turn around and present nothing but fluff questions to Conservative guests, as Duffy did, then he’s no better then Fox News. His rather questionable (in my view) decision to air the “do-over” tape of Dion is a prime example of his shilling for the Conservative side.

    The one GOOD thing about the Duffy appointment is that it does get him off the air. Hopefully CTV can find someone with a tad more objectivity.

  • You’re young so I’m amused about your observations re: Mike Duffy.

    Senate appointments matter to only three classes of people in Canada: pundits, partisans/bloggers, and a large swath of Westerners.

    Westerners care about the Senate because they know we’re never going to have the kind of political clout that Ontario and Quebec have due to Central Canada’s larger share of the population, so the triple-e Senate has long been seen as a method of balancing the perceived power imbalance.

    Pundits care about the Senate because it’s something they can dissect, discuss and ultimately, ponitificate about what’s right or wrong with the institution as opposed to, you know, running for office and putting their amazing ideas into workable legislation to solve all of Canada’s ills.

    Partisans and bloggers care about the Senate because, depending on which side of the partisan fence you’re standing, you can either cheer the eighteen appointments or say that Harper broke yet another promise. That he’s a liar. That he’s got a hidden agenda. That he’s got “666″ tattooed on the back of his head somewhere. Insert partisan snipe here…

    Being that I’m non-partisan, I tend to look at the Senate less as a function of our parliamentary democracy and more of an extention of the Prime Minister’s Office. Am I bothered that Mike Duffy was appointed? You bet! I love Mike Duffy and CTV is going to have a helluva time replacing him. I disagree with some opinion columns that are questioning the nature of the relationship between the media and politicians including some that are questioning whether Mike Duffy was a truly unbiased journalist in all his years covering Ottawa. Here’s what I know: I’ve read blogs that accuse Mike Duffy, CTV, hell, the Ottawa Press Gallery for that matter as being pro-Liberal, anti-Liberal, pro-Tory, anti-tory, for years and years. Those complaints generally come about when your party (be it, Liberal, Tory or Dipper) is getting some shitty press coverage more often than not because of some dipshit policy or worse, a scandal your party got itself into and now has the audacity to complain about being exposed for the scandal your party frikin’ created!

    It is with some measure of amusement that I am reading Liberal bloggers and commentators trying to slam Harper for “abandoning his base” or for “breaking yet another promise”.

    Give me a frikin’ break! Look, voters who are actually paying attention to this are sophisticated enough to know that all political leaders break promises: it’s what they frikin’ do for shit sake! It doesn’t matter whether that leader is a Tory or a Liberal – they all break a promise, usually for political expediency, neccessity or more often than not, for political advantage. With this in mind, kindly shut up about it because nobody is going to punish Harper, and nobody gives a rat’s ass! His base will be there come the next election: why? Because his base ain’t made up of Liberals and Dippers!

    I will say this much: it is beyond hypocritical for Liberals (and their supporters) to slam Harper for making the appointments all the while refusing to address the reason he waited three years to appoint Senators. For clarification: you don’t support Senate reform and now you’re pointing your finger at Harper and saying… what? That he’s an asshole because he’s acting just like YOU guys when your party is in power: the Prime Minister of Canada is appointing Senators! Stop the presses because, holy shit, it’s business as usual in Ottawa!

    Cripes, what a country, eh?

    To quote sage Kinsella:

    “Journalists are entitled to have views; they are entitled to receive appointments, too. Anyone who suggests otherwise is just being partisan, or conspiracy theorist, or both.

    Again, to my Liberal friends: get over your CTV fixation. It doesn’t help your leader, your party, or yourselves”

  • sassy

    Another Harper principle thrown out the door

    Harper has principles?

  • Mike,

    You’re point is probably not too far off. The following is from today’s G&M:

    “The Prime Minister could have appointed a good group of more widely, well-known senators who would have brought some vitality to the Senate, but that would have gone against the grain of eventually trying to proceed to Senate reform,” said Roger Gibbins of the Canada West Foundation. “He has not strengthened the role of an appointed Senate by bringing in a set of luminaries.”

  • Harper is pulling a Bush tactic and has picked for loyalty. He does not want to accidentally install an independently-minded senator.

  • Back about 15 years ago, the Police force where my mother works was supposed to hire minorities. One of those was natives, who made up a fairly large segment of the population of the city where my mother works, but had NO representative on the police force. This old Sargent didn’t like “Indians” and didn’t like affirmative action. So, when deciding who to hire, he purposely skipped at least two university educated, fit and well qualified candidates and hired a short, fat native woman of questionable intelligence. Needless to say, she flunked out of police college.

    The old Sargent then turned around and said “See, affirmative actions doesn’t work. We can’t hire Indians…”

    I got the feeling that Harper is doing the same thing – purposely picking horridly unqualified people to prove a point.

    Either that or his is truly a hypocritical and duplicitous liar.

    He doesn’t look very good either way.

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