Since it's the Topic Du Jour.
I'm a big believer that if you don't like the game, you still have to play it first and then try to change the rules. So Gary Doer accepting an appointment from Harper doesn't bother me like it does others.
The more common way of expressing this rule is, its easier to change from within than from without.
So in that vein, Harper appointing senators even though he promised not to, while hypocritical, doesn't get my knickers all in a twist. It's another case of making a stupid impractical promise (like swearing to never raise taxes). The Senate is part of our government, and seats should not be left vacant. A habit of the Conservatives that concerns me.
What frustrates me, and Coyne as linked earlier, is the overtly partisan nature of the appointments. Through these appointments, Harper is obviously trying to make the Senate fail. He's attempting sabotage on one of our legislative branches by appointing large numbers of incompetents. Why couldn't he appoint serious thinkers, respected conservative experts in various social sciences? Nope, he just wants loyalists. He had the opportunity once again to rise above the debate and attempt the high road. Yet unsurprisingly he opted for the muck instead.
And that is seriously short-sighted. It has been posited that he appointed these people in return for guarantees that they would support any future legislation "reforming" the Senate. That is his only goal. Well the problem with this is, how does he go about enforcing that promise? Being a PM is transitory, being a Senator is forever, in parliamentary terms. Chances are, by doing nothing his partisan flacks can stymie Harper's terms at reform and keep their cushy jobs. They just have to be patient and outlast him.
Or what? What can Harper do to them if they break their promise?
Absolutely nothing. His ploy at valuing loyalty above all else may bite him in the ass yet. Trouble is, it's Canadians as a whole that will suffer from an ineffective and incompetent Senate.
Mr Harper, making things worse is not a required road to making things better.