The Senate has long posed a problem for Government and for Canadians. Here we have an unelected body, with long terms, and pensions after, that appears to serve no real purpose other than to rubber stamp legislation. What use is it?
Simple: Harper wants the Senate gone. He can’t get rid of it himself. So he has to make the public demand its dissolution.
First, you might appoint devoted followers and yes-people to the Senate so that, no matter what, your bills would be rubber stamped. This would be a good way of showing how ineffective the Senate is: effectively removing the Senates ability to be independent.
So you keep up that charade: appearing to support the system while, at the same time, working in the background to shred it. You appoint more and more Senators, until the upper chamber is bloated beyond belief. You slip more dirty information to the media. Perhaps you even have some of your Senators fall on their swords, abuse residency status or expenses, knowing that they will be rewarded later with board appointments to multi-million-dollar corporations or, at least, with a nice Senate retirement package. You keep up the front while tearing out the back and increasing public outrage.
“But the only way you end up with more comprehensive reform is if you destabilize the status quo to the point where Canadians say, ‘This is a mess, and we’ve got to sort this out.’ ” - Roger Gibbins, professor emeritus at the University of Calgary, MacLeans, 7 October 2011