Thursday, April 19, 2007

Senator Brown

The appointment of 'elected' Senator Bert Brown by his old pal our PM, Stephen Harper, is a pale horse compared to the old Reform call for a Triple E senate Brown and Harper used to call for. It is based upon the passing of the Conservatives Senate Reform Bill C-43. Of course Harper as PM can appoint Browne without Bill C-43 but he qualified his appointment as being tied to the bill now in the house.

The Senate (14:50)
Mr. Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot, CPC)
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Though Ottawa has no obligation by law to appoint the senators from Alberta's "elected" list, Harper was happy to do so to better publicise his campaign for an elected Senate.

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.

Nearly one in five ballots spoiled in Alberta Senate elections

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.




See:

Deforming The Senate

Senate Reform

Abolish the Senate 1

Democracy Is Messy



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6 comments:

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

If all these Liberal and Dipper supporters were so sad that none of "their" guys were on the ballot, they should have told Nancy MacBeth not to listen to the instructions her boss Chretien gave her at the time. Don't blame those of us on the side of angels.

The Invisible Hand said...

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 which Conservatives are claiming this? Got a link?

Nearly one in five ballots spoiled in Alberta Senate elections

In other words, 80% of voters supported the Senate election. Nice attempt at spin, though.

For example in one riding in Northern Alberta...

It was a province-wide election, so your attempt to cherry-pick a single riding with a lower acceptance is meaningless. It would be like a defeated candidate in a general election picking out a single poll that he won and claiming it as proof that the voters support him more than the overall winner.

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.

Your knowledge of history astounds me. Brown didn't get elected in the 1989 election, only Waters did. Furthermore, Klein wasn't the Premier then, Don Getty was.

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.

Wrong again. The 1998 Senate election had two independents, the same as in 2004, and one fewer than 1989, which had three.

eugene plawiuk said...

Dear Invisible wonder where your hand is. The comments on 400,000 was CPC messaging delivered on Don Newmans Politics and Mike Duffy's show by the party hacks, Jason Kenney and Rahim Jaffer.

Au contraire to your point re Brown, he ran in all three senate races did you miss the link.

And I did not say Klein had anything to do with the 1989 Senate race.

Independents in the last Senate race in 2004 were not independents at all but right winger supporters of Reform or worse eg. Link Byfield of Alberta Report

As for selecting a riding, it was an example. As for the 80% that figure is a strawdog, it is actually far less since folks voted for their favorite right wing nut bar. Each Senator in Waiting in that riding got 1900 votes far less than those who protested the election.

FCLC:
In 1998 real independents ran Including some aligned with the provincial Liberals and NDP, not the case in 2004.

And I am still waiting for either of you to explain why anyone would think what Harper is doing, or that phony Senate elections could be any extension of democracy when the institution disenfranchises Canadians.

The Invisible Hand said...

Au contraire to your point re Brown, he ran in all three senate races did you miss the link.

He ran in all three, but he didn't "get elected" in 1989 as you claimed.

And I did not say Klein had anything to do with the 1989 Senate race.

Yes, you did: "The first time when Waters and Brown got elected it was all for show, that the Klein regime was onside with Mannings Reformers."

Independents in the last Senate race in 2004 were not independents at all but right winger supporters of Reform or worse eg. Link Byfield of Alberta Report

"Independent" just means they didn't have a party affiliation, genius. An independent candidate can be a right-winger, a left-winger, or somewhere in-between.

And even if Byfield and the other guy didn't count as independents, it was the 1989 election that had three independents, so your claim that 1998 had the most is still wrong.

As for selecting a riding, it was an example. As for the 80% that figure is a strawdog, it is actually far less since folks voted for their favorite right wing nut bar.

That makes no sense. In a way, it actually strengthens the claim of legitmacy: Only 56% of voters wanted a PC or Alliance MLA, but 80% of them chose Senators. This means that over half of Liberal/NDP/Green voters (43% of total) cast valid Senate ballots, despite not having any candidates for their party.

Each Senator in Waiting in that riding got 1900 votes far less than those who protested the election.

It's rather dishonest of you to try to use the bottom finishers to drag down the average of the four who won. Returning to your cherry-picked riding data:

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.

I see that your honesty matches your ability to read a chart. The "total votes spoiled, rejected, or declined" came to just 1940, not 8147. You added the 6207 valid ballots into your "rejected this phony election" total. (By mistake, or on purpose?) Seven out of the ten candidates scored higher that the spoiled/rejected/declined total, and 76% of voters (6207 out of 8147) in that riding cast valid Senate ballots.

Here's how the province-wide votes stack up (total / riding average):

Brown: 312,041 / 3,760
Unger: 311,964 / 3,759
Breitkreuz: 241,306 / 2,907
Byfield: 238,751 / 2,877
Silye: 217,857 / 2,625
Usherwood: 193,056 / 2,326
Spoiled/Declined/Rejected: 178,883 / 2,155
Roth: 176,339 / 2,125
Gough: 167,770 / 2,021
Sindlinger: 161,082 / 1,941
Horan: 156,175 / 1,882

It takes a special kind of logic to declare that the 7th-place finisher represents the majority...

Cliff said...

I declined the senatorial ballot and asked that it be marked refused in 2004 and the Tory poll watcher suddenly attached herself to my elbow. She almost followed me into the voting booth.

It was an absurd and absurdly expensive excercise and the choices ran the ideological gamut from far right to monster raving loony right.

eugene plawiuk said...

Invisible I stand corrected you are right Klein was not the leader in 89 however my point was that the elections were irrevlevant, and promoted by the PC's and their joined at the hip Reform Party members.

As for the data I clipped it from the Elections Alberta page. So how it was presented was as is.

My point is that this was a phony election, it was tact on first to municipal elections and then onto municipal elections with health board elections, which the latter did not turn out to be a good idea as Tories lost places on the boards so they quashed that.

The final senate election occurred concurrent with a provincial election.

As for the independents being that, they weren't. Most were right wingers not associated with the PC's.

Unlike the second senate election, which did have actual independent candidates, including one guy who believes in UFO's.

The fact remains that in a one party state any elections are rigged by the ruling party in its favour. And if they don't work out their way, they just overturn them.