Andrew Spicer's Weblog - Current - Archive Index - Email - RSS

Fortier Appointed to Senate for 31 Years

Michael Fortier, Stephen Harper's appointment to the Senate (and his Minister of Public Works), says he didn't run in the last election because he didn't want to. And I can't blame him because he probably would have lost, despite the Tory surge in Quebec.

Technically, there's nothing wrong with appointing someone to the Senate. Nor is there anything wrong with putting a Senator into your cabinet. It's been done in the past, usually when you need representation from a particular place that didn't elect you a suitable MP. What makes it unusual is that it comes from a man who opposes the notion of an appointed Senate, and still promises to elect members.

In this case Fortier will be the only cabinet minister from Montreal, as David Emerson will be the only cabinet minister from Vancouver. I don't see what the big urgency was in getting ministers from these cities. The reaction after the election was "oh, Harper didn't get much support in the big cities" and "how can he win support in the big cities?" not so much "Harper needs cabinet ministers from the big cities". Harper's urban appeal needs to be improved through deeds, not fluky cabinet appointments.

Anyway, what's done is done. And perhaps it will turn out to be a smart move for Harper to have done this on his first day as Prime Minister, just as it was smart for him to get rid of his same-sex marriage baggage on day one of the election campaign. Maybe he just needed to burst some bubbles, and let everyone know they shouldn't expect him to be an angel when he needs to make things happen. Still, if it was me, I would have wanted to keep the honeymoon going a little longer.

As for Fortier, you better get used to him. Sure, he says that he will resign and run in the next election for a seat in the House. But you never know. Things might change. Circumstances can intervene and change the dynamic around that particular promise. Meanwhile, at 44, he is the youngest Senator and technically has been appointed to a 31-year term.

Permalink - - - View Related Articles in Canada



Index has been moved to