21 August 2015

#17 Jobs to Seventy-five

The great job creator. Or so the Prime Minister would have us believe. So many good full-time jobs lost and transformed into lower-paying and part-time positions. It wouldn't be fair, however, to attribute all of that action on the jobs front to a single individual, even if that individual would take credit for any good news in a heartbeat. No, the transforming of the middle class into the upper poor comes from the greed of others, facilitated by the tweaking of a law here and there, the elimination of a right here and there.

What we can credit directly to the Prime Minister is the filling of a certain number of rather well-paying jobs that, until recently, came with some rather generous and poorly-supervised expense reimbursement possibilities. Yes, our friends the senators. While they are technically appointed by the Governor-General, they are for all intents and purposes appointed by the Prime Minister.

In his time in office, Stephen Harper has been able to appoint 59 senators to their jobs, mandates that last until they reach the age of 75. Of course he is not the only Prime Minister to do that, as each and every prime minister who has held office for more than a few months has appointed a fair number to the so-called chamber of sober second thought.

Not for he, however, the least effort to pretend at rewarding merit on its own: every one of the Prime Minister's 59 appointments to the 105-seat senate has been a Conservative. In the past, office-holders have at least made some pretense of “balance” by appointing someone with a different party affiliation from time to time. Not since Brian Mulroney used a little-known clause of the constitution to appoint a raft of “extra” senators (to overcome the unbalance of having too many Liberal senators blocking his government's legislation) have we seen such unblemished partisanry, and even he went on to appoint a couple of people not aligned with his party to the Senate over the course of his time in office.

Yes, the guy who claims now to want to eliminate the senate has appointed more than half of the members of that body, all from his own party, and several figuring prominently in the expense scandal that is rocking it now. But more about the future of the senate in another post.

Further reading here

He came to change the
upper chamber, he said, but
just came with blue paint

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