I'm pretty certain that if you asked any of the candidates running in the current by-elections what they are hearing at the door, they'd answer, the Economy, the Environment, maybe Health Care and even Afghanistan.
Somehow I doubt anyone has heard a great roar about the immediate need for Senate reform, yet we're hearing that Harper wants that to be a big issue in the next election.
If Prime Minister Stephen Harper pulls the plug on Parliament next month, he appears poised to cite his frustrated efforts to reform Canada's unelected Senate as one of the reasons he seeks a new mandate.
His MPs are already sending out campaign-style material to constituents trashing the Liberals for clinging to the "horse and buggy" institution that Harper wants to reform without opening the constitution for amendment.
We need an election now because Harper is frustrated with his efforts to reform the Senate? The country needs to come to a crashing halt, spend millions of dollars because our petulant PM hasn't gotten his way on this issue? Unbelievable! This guy really doesn't understand the meaning of a minority government does he?
Well, I say bring it on because if that is going to be his issue, outside of his base, I cannot imagine the rest of the country feeling this is a good reason to hold an election. Good grief, talk about being tone deaf to what the country is preoccupied with at the moment. Not to mention the fact that the Senate did rather well this year in performing the role they are meant to play. C-10 anyone?
I'm sure he won't have this as his only issue and they will likely come forward with 5 priorities again, but will they resonate any more than Senate reform? We see that they are avoiding the Environment all together, they are in la-la land as it relates to the Economy, so what will it be?
Senate reform, crime, um, I'm drawing a blank here.
On QP today, journalists from the Hill were saying that they've heard the Con's are pushing for an election now because they are uncomfortable with the timing of the US election and the potential of some of the energy from the Dem camp making it's way across the border. It's an interesting concern and may have some marginal impact but I think during an election in Canada we'll be focused on Canadian issues.
Somehow I just don't see Senate reform as a pressing Canadian issue and certainly not one that justifies aborting 5 by-elections. It's simply another example to add to the growing list of what disdain Harper has for our democratic system.