Your editorial (Tories Fumble Senate Reform, PNR Aug. 14) criticizes the Harper government for abandoning its pledge to push for Senate reform and criticizes the Prime Minister for having appointed “dozens of new senators.”
You forget PM Stephen Harper initially appointed senators from provinces that had agreed to hold Senate elections and finally had to fill a growing number of vacancies where provinces did not follow that course.
He also introduced term limits and new stricter accounting rules which facilitated the current expense account issue.
As you point out, the government has asked the Supreme Court to clarify what changes it can make without opening a constitutional can of worms, which has been the reason for not moving ahead with other improvements.
The NDP campaign to abolish the Senate may be good politics in the current environment, but it has no chance of success because it would involve a divisive constitutional debate among provinces, including a separatist government in Quebec, which polls show the Canadian people do not want.
A governing party must act responsibly which, by referring the question to the court, is exactly what Mr. Harper has done without diminishing his long-held and often expressed belief in meaningful reform.