The Senate (14:50) Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)
Under Harper's Bill C-43, all senators will be appointed based on "popular consultations" with the provinces before they are inducted into the Red Chamber.
"Alberta did some time ago hold a popular consultation for the filling of a Senate vacancy. When that seat comes due, I will recommend to the Governor General the appointment of Mr. Bert Brown," said Harper.
While the Conservatives are claiming that Bert got over 400,000 votes ( they even lie about that he only got just over 300,000) . And while he ran three times, he actually was in a dead heat with Betty Unger. So Harper had a choice between his old pal or Unger.
The real story is how many folks voted against the phony senate elections held in 2004. In fact the vast number of Albertans abstained from voting or spoiled their ballots,for the right wingers running for Alberta Senator.
More than 170,000 Albertans, or nearly 19.3 per cent of the total number of those who went to the polls on Nov. 22, rejected or spoiled their ballots.
Alberta's chief election officer Brian Fjeldheim said 85,937 people declined to take a senate ballot, and another 84,643 either filled them out improperly or intentionally marked them so they couldn't be counted.
Voter turnout for the overall election was at a historic low of about 46 per cent, while the senate election turnout was around 35 per cent.
For example in one riding in Northern Alberta the total votes spoiled, rejected, or declined came to 8147, while those who cast votes came to 19,154 split between ten candidates. Clearly the majority was with those who rejected this phony election. No one candidate got anywhere near the number of the total protest non vote.
This was in fact the third time we had Senate elections in Alberta. And Bert is the second such senator appointed to the Senate. The last one was Stan Waters another of the Reform party hacks, who was appointed by Brian Mulroney.
It was almost a decade between elections for Senators in Alberta. The first time when Waters and Brown got elected it was all for show, that the Klein regime was onside with Mannings Reformers. It was a political protest to push the Triple E Senate idea.
Then eight years later, with little reason to call one, a Senate election was tacked onto the provincial municipal elections, the Klein regime also tacked on elections for regional Health Boards. That Senate election had more independents then the previous or the later election.
Ironically those Health Board elections were overturned within a year, the elected board members fired and replaced with Klein government appointees. So much for democratic reform.
The election in 2004 for Senators saw right wingers and only right wingers run. In fact the provincial P.C.'s were reluctant to back anyone, or run anyone, until forced to by their pals on the right.
It is all a clever mirage of pseudo democracy by a province that suffers from a democratic deficit as a one party state. Irony abounds. Here we have the Alberta Reformers wanting democracy in Ottawa when it is lacking at home.
Harpers Bill C-43 continues this made in Alberta pseudo democratic reformism. It is all about appearances not real Senate reform. First Harper appoints an unelected Montrealer to be in Cabinet as Public Works Minister by appointing him to the Senate. Thus his minister can avoid public questioning in the house.
Next he calls for term limits for Senators, then he calls for a bill that would encourage the PM to appoint elected senators, when only one province has made this an issue and ever held an election. The rest of Canada could care less. And for good reason.
The senate is an anachronism that actually disenfranchises Canadians regardless of whether Senators are elected or not. And nothing in Harpers phony senate reform bill will change this basic fact.
According to the Constitution, anyone appointed to the Senate must be over the age of 30, a resident of the province they represent and own property worth $4,000, above their debts.
Renters and young people need not apply for the job.
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