Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Day by day

This is one of the moments where I like to say, "I toada so!" And you're thinking this is a post on Stockwell Day. Sort of, but not really.

If there's one thing Stephen Harper has learned is that he understands the attention span of the average Canadian voter. During the campaign he made a small announcement day by day and controlled the agenda for most of the first half then when the Liberals played catch up, it was just enough to prevent a Conservative majority.

Now, as Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has been making small announcements day by day and is actually making decisions. While there are a few politically sensitive areas such as Kyoto, gun control, and missile defence that this new government is side stepping through, we have a better idea where the country is going compared to Paul Martin.

With Michael Fortier's appointment to the Senate (official today actually), much attention was drawn to the upper chamber. Most Canadians don't hear much about our Senators, and most can't even name their own--thus making it difficult to keep them accountable, which they are not at all. But now they're paying attention. If a Senator can be made a cabinet minister, which is true, then how can he or she be held accountable? Well, "experts" are saying, "Well, no, Fortier cannot be held accountable for his Public Works Ministry."

So with all that, Harper actually put out the bait, a pawn if you will to sacrifice. He has told the premiers that this fall they will begin talks on how senatorial elections should be done, then Harper will appoint the winner(s). Currently, Bert Brown from Alberta is the only senator-in-waiting. He's now next to be appointed.

This is a huge first step. Ultimately, the BEST scenario for Canada would be an EQUAL Senate, but that one would require constitutional change. We'll see how these elections go, and if looked upon favorably, perhaps opening up the constitution for senate reform ONLY would be the way to go. The big problem with the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords was there was too many changes, too many things on the table.

Now, hopefully everyone will forget about Fortier's appointment and we can move on, day by day.

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