Abolishing the Senate… one bad appointment at a time


Dear Stephen Harper,

Congratulations! I never imagined in my wildest imaginings even you could be quite this Machiavellian. Appointing Mike Duffy, the long-time pretend senator from CTV, an actual Senator from Prince Edward Island? Genius. Pamela Wallin, the queen of political TV, Senator for Air Canada?

You had to know. You did, didn’t you?

Some may suggest adding to the upper chamber the likes of Patrick Brazeau (pony-tailed pugilist wannabe, alleged sexual assaulter and expense cheat) and Pierre Hughes Boisvenu (“victims’” rights advocate who still lists his ex-wife’s Quebec home as his primary residence to collect his Senate housing allowance while hiring his girlfriend as his communications officer) was gilding the lily. But I know you can never be too careful — not when the stakes are this high.

As you told your caucus last week, you “did not get into politics to defend the Senate.”

Some commentators suggested you just wanted to divert attention from the scandal and the role your top aide played in escalating it with that $90,000 cheque from petty cash. But we know better.

Those otherwise inexplicable appointments, their entitled-to-my-entitlements defence of the indefensible, their later attempts to obfuscate, cover up and shut up, even that cheque you didn’t know anything about, are all puzzle pieces in your master plan — to finally, once and forever, abolish the Senate.

That must be it. Otherwise…

I have watched the subtle evolution of your thinking.

From Triple-E Reform reformer to patronage appointer to closet abolitionist.

After the then-Liberal dominated Senate blocked your plans to actually reform the Senate back in 2006, you traveled to Canberra, Australia, to muse aloud that Canada’s Senate must either change or, “like the old upper houses of our provinces, vanish.” Your officials helpfully noted this was the first time a Canadian prime minister had suggested — albeit far from home — abolition.

More recently, you stealthily included abolition as one of the options you asked the Supreme Court of Canada to consider.

It’s working, Stephen.

Your awful appointees have made the Senate so disreputable Canadians will soon force their politicians to find a way — any way — to get rid of it.

Which was surely the goal. Wasn’t it?

That’s not to suggest a few more awful appointments wouldn’t help the cause. You can never have too many bad senators.  As always, I’m willing to do my bit for the cause. You can reach me at…


  1. Makes sense. Thank you, Stephen Kimber for pointing out the machinations of that other Stephen. Of course, he couldn’t be as stupid or uninformed as he makes out.


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