Three takes on Trudeau’s Senate reform

The critics are… split

Independent MP Brent Rathgeber is cautiously optimistic about Justin Trudeau’s decision to remove senators from the Liberal caucus.

The greatest criticism of our current democratic state is not the unelected senate but the concentration of power away from Parliament and inside the Prime Minister’s Office. Our system needs more, not fewer, checks and balances on growing executive power. However, the Senate has lately been operating as a PMO branch plant, sanitizing an audit to protect a valuable asset and then throwing that Senator under the bus once he became a liability.

For a chamber to provide sober second thought, it must do so from some notion of objectivity. A Senate full of partisan and government cheerleaders serves no purpose. As long as the Senate remains appointed (which I fear is indefinite), appointees should be selected on the basis of merit, accomplishment and expertise not partisan pedigree. Accordingly I am cautiously optimistic about attempts to depoliticize in the interim.

Former Reform leader Preston Manning says true independence should come through election.

“A far more solid, independent representative is someone who ran as an independent and got elected as an independent and feels accountable to the public to maintain and stay an independent,” Manning said. “This creation of independence by the fiat of a leader, you can do that on paper and do it on a press release, but there’s a lot more solidity to it if the public themselves actually choose to be represented by independents.”

And Stephane Dion Of Eight Years Ago questions an independent appointment process.

As for the often made proposition, revived by Professor Flanagan, to submit senatorial selections to the scrutiny of supposedly independent and apolitical commissions (composed of Members of the Order of Canada, for example), I remain sceptical about it. I find the notion elitist – and frankly, not very democratic – and believe that Canadians would perceive it as such. It risks watering down the Prime Minister’s accountability. He selects senators – he should bear the responsibility for his choices.

As for himself, Justin Trudeau argued his case to Peter Mansbridge last night.




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Three takes on Trudeau’s Senate reform

  1. Whether you agree or not with Trudeau, im sure we will here from all the skeptics and talking heads for future to come, he has sucked every bit of air out of the Cons the Dippers agenda, since the house opened, and Im willing to bet the conversation on ” At Issue ” tonight, wont be about Harper and Mulcair . Trudeau just didn’t get a birdy this week, he got a hole in one.

    • I think he scored at least a populist victory, which as we all should know isn’t always the same thing as nailing it dead on. But until i understand the ramifications of this a little better i’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for trying and meaning well. After all why shouldn’t he have a bit of a wonky populist position? The other two parties sure as hell do.

      • I don’t think its a populist victory at all, I think he did nail it, he at least did something tangible to change it(its carved in stone now, senators no longer a part of the grit caucus). Trudeau made the first move, while everyone else are just still talking about it. Harper was hoping this scandal was gone in this sitting, and in one short presser, we are talking about the senate again, and that to me is a hole in one. The reason Trudeau didn’t go with the dippers on this first, with their motion, is because the dippers wanted abolishment included and Trudeau didn’t want to go that far. Tom has to be very carful, because he may have to explain how to take apart the constitution to get where he needs to go.

        • Regardless of the fact that JT has freed his 32 senators, the fact remains that these are 32 people who belong to the Liberal Party of Canada and who were appointed senators by a Liberal Prime Minister. Just because Mr. Trudeau chooses one day to dawn a teflon suit and decide that whatever these people do no longer touches him or his party, they still consider themselves Liberals because they ARE Liberals. They will band together in the senate to vote Liberal and they will attend Liberal Party functions just like before. Think about it. Tomorrow the CONS could throw all their senators out of their caucus and everyone in the senate would be independent. What possible difference would that make in the minds of Canadians when the next senate scandal breaks?

          • The most recent Senate scandal came about because the PM’s Chief of Staff thought the Conservative Senators all answered to the PM directly. As the PM’s designate that means he believed the Senate Conservatives answered to him and his office. The Conservative Leader in the Senate agreed with him as did the entire PMO and Stephen Harper. So Duffy’s report was doctored & Duffy bribed and Harper has to put up with Mulcair every question period.

            If the Conservatives had adopted Trudeau’s plan two years ago, the above mess could never have happened. If they adopt it tomorrow they can ensure it never happens again.

            Do you really hate Harper so much that you want him to go through another Duffy-Wright scandal?

          • If I am not completely mistaken, “the most recent Senate scandal” came about as a result of allegations of sexual harassment/assault that were levied against a former Liberal Senator by his female assistant.
            Have we already forgotten that there were once Liberal Senators involved in scandals? Gosh, one day into the name change and the amnesia sets in.
            You cannot be serious that you believe that EmilyOne or Gayle or root canal would have believed for a minute that Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau weren’t still Cons even if Stephen had cut them loose. No body is THAT gullible!

          • But none of us believe Harper can tell them how to vote. Which is the distinction, as I am sure you are well aware.

          • Of course Stephen can’t tell Duffin, Wallin and Brazeau how to vote NOW. However, if Stephen also follows Mulclair’s suggestion and cuts his whole senate caucus loose, will you actually believe that he isn’t still telling some of them how to vote?

          • I would not believe that of Harper, but I DO believe that of Trudeau.

          • One of the things to remember is that JT appointed precisely zero of the Senators in his (erstwhile) caucus. If they’re loyal to him, it’s probably mostly because they’re loyal to the party. Arguably nothing changes in that regard, particularly where it comes to dyed in the wool Liberals like Mercer, Joyal, Downe, Jaffer, Baker, etc. (most of them, really). Ironically, there’s whispers that some will not call themselves Liberals precisely because they are such loyal Liberals that they don’t want to hurt the party’s fortunes by appearing to contradict the leader. Yes, JT gives up a few levers like the ability to assign office space, direct committee assignments, and give the odd travel perk – but as the leader of the third party he didn’t have a lot of latitude anyways, and most of these day to day decisions were likely left to the Senate Leadership group. That same group still makes those decisions.On the other hand, Harper appointed most of his Senate caucus. They are personally beholden to him, and their judgement reflects on his. As PM, he also has much more carrots and sticks he can use to reward and control his Senators. Because they are “Harper’s people” they also have a much more direct role in the Party today. While some Liberal Senators have likely been involved in fundraising for the Liberals under Trudeau, none have anywhere near the kind of role Irving Gerstein plays in the CPC.Trudeau made a bold move. One that has real risks, and one that requires him to make some very real sacrifices both immediately and in the long term; but one of the reasons he did it was probably because he knows Harper would have to give up a lot more if he ever made a similar move.

          • At last some reality in the discussion. Thank you. Very insightful.

          • If Duffy was not in the Conservative caucus, Nigel Wright would not have been giving orders.

          • If there hadn’t been coalition crisis, Harper would not have appointed all these senators to the senate.
            If Harper had not have gotten greedy and tried to get rid of the per vote subsidy while he had a minority government, there would not have been a coalition crisis.
            If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
            We have no way to predict what might have happened should different things have happened. We also have no way to predict what will happen going forward. Apparently not all Canadians thus far are enamored of Justin Trudeau’s idea of senate reform…including 29 of the ex-Liberal Senators who are not falling in line as he would like them to.
            Some of us would like to see real reform. I do not for a minute think senators like Romeo Dallaire are crooks. I don’t think he or others like him should be treated poorly either. I would like to see terms for senators and committees appointing senators. I don’t expect complete non-partisanship because I don’t believe that exists in people who are active in social and political causes.

          • Well, I must confess it would be attractive. But I would remind you the present one is far from playing out yet. The fireworks have yet to come when the reports start issuing forth.

          • Actually, it already has made a difference. The media is already referring to them as “Independents”. Trudeau has turned any future spending scandal to his advantage. He can now say he was right to have cut them loose. Any Liberal Senator with expense irregularities now just makes Trudeau look like he was ahead of the curve in turfing them. Meanwhile, he has prevented Harper from pulling a similar stunt, because there’s no way Harper would ever allow himself to appear to be chasing Trudeau on anything. Each spending irregularity by a Tory senator will stain Harper.

          • Of course the press calls them Independents but the Independent Senators are banding together to vote together as the opposition in the Senate. They don’t see themselves as 32 independent people but rather as a group who oppose the Cons. They are in fact discussing whether they need a party whip. Justin Trudeau wants to distance himself from them but they are what they are….Libs who were appointed by a Lib PM to be Lib Senators and they will continue to perform that way. No one but the most naive of Canadians is going to believe any different. Further it was Mulclair’s idea.

          • That could be your retort to any configuration of the Senate. The whole thing is largely predicated (like many things in the Canadian system) on good people doing the right thing. Whether or not you have a membership card to anything in your wallet isn’t a true measure of your intent. I’m told there are honest, well-meaning Conservatives (although I haven’t seen any yet, they’re like Monarch butterflies). I would have a lot more faith in a candidate vetted by an independent board reviewing his/her past contributions to Canadian society a la the Order of Canada than the criteria being how competent a bagman or party contributor the person was. I read that the next PM in a 4-5 year term will have the opportunity to appoint 50% of the current Senate quorum. Under the existing framework does one honestly expect a different outcome in behaviour other than that they’ll just be more circumspect in their activities?
            You can’t legislate honesty but you can infer character from past behaviour. It’s come to that. The present system is broken, ironically by the very people who stood to benefit the most. Things need to change.

          • Obviously “my retort” would be much different IF we had REAL CHANGE in the Senate in terms of things like the amount of time a Senator can sit (8 years) and committee elections because many, if not all the sitting senators would be on their way out the door.
            I have a problem with pretending that one day a person is a loyal political being and the next, they are not based on the say so of a man who in his ambition to become leader of the country NEEDS the person to something different than what we know he/she is.
            Of course the current system is broken but this is no fix. If everyone in this current group of senators decides to sit independently, it will be for nothing but political show. They will still vote along party lines to appease their life time friends in the party and it will fool no one.

        • its carved in stone now, senators no longer a part of the grit caucus

          Actually, it’s not even written down on paper. There is nothing stopping the next Liberal leader, or Trudeau himself from reversing this decision.

    • It successfully buried the other eye-glazing Senate topic, to judge by the enthusiastic media coverage, so that’s a positive development. Still, does anyone believe Trudeau himself came up with this idea?

    • Yep. He’s shed an enormous pile of baggage, while ensuring Harper is forever stuck with his. No way could Harper pull off a similar stunt now. He’d look like a pathetic panderer. The optics of copying Trudeau would be brutal, and the ridicule would be intense.

      But it’s an even bigger victory for Trudeau than that. Every embarrassing expense by a Tory senator that is uncovered is going to stain the Tories. Every embarrassing expense by a former Liberal senator will just make Trudeau look that much smarter. His response can be a simple, “See? That’s why I did it!.” Of course, he won’t have to say that. Everyone else will be saying it for him. He has not only inoculated himself against embarrassment from the Senate, but he’s put himself in a position to benefit from it.

      No way did Trudeau think of this himself. He’s been getting some good advice lately. Much better than Ignatieff or Dion ever got.

      • The Liberal Party of Canada, is going through a revolution, complete transformation from the top down. Trudeau is putting his signature all over it, and he is putting everything on the line to prove to Canadians that you can govern using a healthy democracy, run an economy, and be transparent at the same time, accountable to the people.

      • So you are saying if an ex-Liberal Senator is revealed to be involved in another big scandal, we Canadians will all suffer from amnesia and forget that this ex-Liberal Senator was appointed by a Liberal PM and is still considered to be high ranking in terms of their standing and respect among the membership of the Liberal Party of Canada? Meanwhile, JT has lost all ability to punish any misbehaving Liberal Senators…oops I mean Independent Senators who happen to be Liberal and will still vote together as the opposition in the Senate (which they have already stated.
        Further, why can’t Harper “pull off a similar stunt now?” JT stole the idea from Mulclair so surely Harper can take Mulclair’s idea as well and then NO national party leader is in anyway responsible for “baggage” that comes out of the current sitting Senate.

        • JT didn’t steal the idea, if JT had to go along with the Dippers bill with their motion, it would’ve had to include abolishment and Trudeau didn’t want to go that route, and that was the caveat to the dippers motion, that’s why he didn’t vote with the dippers, so he(JT) chose not to abolish and decided his own path.

          • Aaron Wherry admitted in today’s editorial that the idea was Tom Mulclair’s.

          • Yes, but Trudeau didn’t want to put his stamp on abolishment and that’s the direction the ndps motion was going. It dosnt matter, Trudeau drew first blood, Tom don’t have senators to deal with, so its easy for him to say whatever he likes about the senate, but he hasn’t told Canadians how he will dismantle it. So the monkey is on toms back now.

          • So you admit Trudeau got the idea from Mulclair. Thank you.
            Now for the record, JT has stolen a speech from Jack Layton and a big idea from Mulclair. He really should at least take Tom for a thank you dinner based on the press his gotten for this move, don’t you think?

        • The NDP plan was to open the Constitution, not an easy thing to do. Certainly a long term problem. This just required some guts — some realizing by Trudeau that he could withstand hurting the Liberal senators for a greater good, and that it could happen easily without costing years of budget to open the Const.

          What if Harper had not poopooed this idea — what if instead he had said, we may still need to look at longer term solutions but for now, this is a way to remove the partisanship in the Senate, and I too am now not allowing Conservative Senators to our national caucus meetings. We would have a complete game changer in our Parliament. I see this like an attrition plan that affected only 32 senators while making Parliament stronger for all Canadians.

          And I LOVE how the media is now trying to make Canadians feel sorry for those 32 senators — Evan Solomon asking them if it hurt them emotionally — after how angry Canadians have been at them the past year.

          • Thomas Mulclair challenged the Cons and Libs to kick their senators out of their respective caucuses (Aaron Wherry confirmed this in his editorial today).
            This move is symbolic because you cannot suddenly tell someone that they are no longer a political animal. That would be like someone telling you that you are no longer a Liberal. These 32 Liberals are always going to be Liberals and they might not formerly belong to the caucus but they are forming their own caucus and calling it the Liberal Senate Caucus.
            As for Canadians “hating them”, that is not true. Canadians hate when crooked people steal taxpayer money are allowed to continue to do so with no consequences. If anyone of these 32 are found guilty of that, they will still be inextricably linked to the Liberal Party of Canada because that is how they got their job, not to mention that they will continue to vote along party lines and hold membership and influence in the party.
            JT cannot “free” them. He cannot fire them or change the length of the length of time they serve in the senate. He cannot now even ask them to behave better. He is like a fed up parent who doesn’t want to deal with his teen aged children and surrenders them to social services. Canadians want a bigger change than pretending that everyone is Independent while in fact they are all old cronies of one party or the other.

      • He listened to Mulcair. Stealing progressive ideas from the NDP/CCF is a time-honoured Liberal tradition.

    • Using Mulcair’s advice. Makes a good partnership, Trudeau for the PR and Mulcair for the ideas. Just like in the old days when the Grits always stole the best ideas from the NDP/CCF.

  2. “A far more solid, independent representative is someone who ran as
    an independent and got elected as an independent and feels accountable
    to the public to maintain and stay an independent,” Manning said”

    I’ve never quite shared the media’s predilection for crowning one of our undoubtedly worthy elder statesman as a kind of Conservative seer or sage.

    Does Manning truly believe the senate can be turned into an independent elected House; independent entirely from the sticky fingers of the self interested parties across the way? This will take a lot of money and organization. Does he imagine it will be sponsored by the united way?

    • Shouldn’t someone ask the elder statesman of squeaky complaining where the magic pathway is to the constitutional amendment that would allow an elected Senate? And if that isn’t necessary, in his view, perhaps Manning could be asked to speculate on why his successor on the Triple E file has been so ineffectual. Is it sabotage, that Harper waited 7 years to refer the issue to the Supreme Court instead of when he took office in 2006?

      • In fairness i’d say when the reform went from Manning to Harper they made a kind of Faustian bargain. They got power all right, but they dropped the ball on ethical and accountable along the way.
        When all is said and one, i wonder if Manning ever wonders if he got more done for the Conservative cause from the opposition bench, than Harper has in any lasting and meaningful way in 8 years of skull duggery.

    • Preston Who?

      • Shouldn’t that be Preston whom? :)

    • The Senate as a ‘a homemade, small-time, colonial oligarchy’ Yup, that’s exactly what it is.

  3. I like Brent Rathgeber and would vote for him; he reminds me of Michael Chong

  4. I think I know what is bugging Mansbridge.
    Next week Justin may use his best high school drama voice to announce in the foyer that ” There…… are….. no …….more ………Liberal Supreme Court Justices.
    Then the following week:
    ” There……are…… no ……more……….Liberal Fishery Offices Employees.
    And then ( watch out Wherry ) it could be:
    ” There ….are…….no……..more………Liberal Members of the Media.

    Justin wants to start with a new slate—-no doubt the first Thinkers and Shakers will be drawn from applicants to Justin`s Date Nights.

  5. Only the Canadian elites would think that it is preferable for the elites to select the representatives of the people themselves (undoubted from the Canadian elites themselves(, rather than have the representatives of the people be elected by the people.

    I’m leaning towards preferring abolition. I have a preferred model for Senate reform, but abolition is probably a simpler option to achieve.

    • When Stephane Dion complains about the notion being poncey & elitist, then you know it’s pretty damn elitist.

    • Why is elite a good thing when it comes to sports, but a bad thing when it comes to thinking?

      • Good athletes are obvious to everyone. Good thinkers not nearly so much. And some very dull thinkers can be dressed up to look awfully “intellectual” if they learn the right mannerisms, use the right buzzwords, and attend the right schools.

        • Harper, for example, says things that stupid people think smart people say. The Conservative movement is full of these “smart” people and the stupid and/or greedy buy it.

  6. I believe Justin should have a bong named after him I’m interested in the people on the Senate who say they are still part of the Liberal Party what still get there pays if the people never voted Justin Trudeau n in his own party did and then he gets rid of them you can see some law suits heading his way what’s the sense of voting for anyone if people can just put themselves in there do us all a favor fire yourself and take Catherine wynne with you good luck with you Barney just imagine a

    • , . , . : ” ” — – $ !! , , > >? ,..-&.,.

      There, use some of those.

  7. Cutting them loose before the audit turns up anything is a stroke of genius. The Tories will be left with all those Conservative senators with expense irregularities, while the media is already referring to the Liberal senators as “Independents”. The master chessman Harper has been completely outflanked on this. If he does the same, it will be seen as nothing but a pathetic “me-too” response. So it’s win-win for Trudeau. He’s shed an enormous pile of potentially embarrassing baggage, while ensuring that Harper is stuck with his.

    No, I have not become a Liberal convert, and I don’t like Trudeau anymore now than I ever did. But I do not wish to make the same mistake that the Liberals made with Harper years ago – when they just arrogantly dismissed him as “unelectable”, and just assumed Canadians would agree. They just and never took the threat he posed seriously until it was too late. Conservatives had better stop underestimating Trudeau. He is not going to be the punching bag that Ignatieff and Dion were. They’re going to have to clean up some of the messes they’ve made, and start probing a little more carefully for Trudeau’s soft underbelly (and he does have one – loose lips, and the hardly endearing habit of coming across as the male equivalent of a bimbo, come to mind). They’ve scarcely laid a glove on him so far.

    • Agreed. Reminds me of Darrell Bricker’s remark: JT is the real deal.
      The denial you talk about also reminds me of the attitude that a lot of old PCers had towards Reform in the early 1990s — they wanted to believe that nobody in their right mind would ever vote Reform, they said that over and over again, and that somehow convinced them that practically nobody would vote Reform. Joe Clark was in such serious denial about it that he still refuses to believe it, 20 years later.

      • Yeah, I’m reminded of Dorothy Dobbie’s sneering dismissals of Reform in 1993. She went down in flames, with Liberal Reg Alcock winning the Winnipeg South riding easily. Reform bled thousands of votes away from Dobbie, as they did in nearly every other PC riding. Years later, in 2004, who should reappear, but Dorothy Dobbie, along with another PC relic, Olive MacPhail, to deliver us from the evils of Stephen Harper. They dabbed each other’s eyes at a press conference and tearfully announced they were campaigning door to door for Liberal candidate Glen Murray in Charleswood. It was a close race, but Stephen Fletcher has held the riding ever since. For some people, once that head gets inserted up their own behind, it just never, ever comes out again.

        Like Paul Wells said in Right Side Up, “sometimes the other guy wins.” The Tories better get it through their heads that Trudeau isn’t going to be so easily dismissed by voters as they had hoped. Had the Liberals not underestimated Harper repeatedly, he might never have won. The Conservatives have no one to blame but themselves if they now make the same mistake. And they’re making it.

    • You’re talking about this move as if it’s purely tactical. Which it may be. Perhaps Trudeau has good reason to separate himself from the Liberal senators and this is all about isolating the party from bad press.

      From my perspective, regardless of the motive, this move accomplishes something important to me: it reduces the influence of a political party over a part of our political system. It’s a tiny counter to the trend of increasing the power of political parties, which seems to be ratcheting up with each generation.

      • This is a really good point not noted elsewhere: how the move makes Canadians feel personally. And, as far as I’m concerned, if harper would follow suit, and he won’t, it would be a complete game changer for politics in Canada (see again: harper won’t). My dad is 85, worked for the feds back in the PET days, and he keeps wheezing and saying, “That boy has a lot more of his old man in him than people have figured out yet.” Meaning he’s smart and even whiley.

        • On the flip side, he’s got a fair bit of his mother in him. That’s what the Conservatives need to try to exploit.

          • I am tired of people mocking his mother. To me, she is embodies the face of women of her era, and the fact she has dealt with mental illness very publicly — and let her own experience stand for others to learn from — makes me respect her very much. I think she is a survivor. If you think dredging up tales of her breakdown and breakup with her first husband are going to win the Cons or any other party any votes, I certainly hope you are very mistaken. I do not think Canadians would like that at all. She is a loving mother, like most other mothers. Leave her alone.

      • Overall, it is a positive development. It’s one I’ve always favoured. I do not believe you can eliminate parties from the Senate. We don’t have parties in city council, and how great is that? But, the Senate should not be under the thumb of the PM. It should be an independent body.

  8. This just came to me. What do you think?….

    Elect 435 MPs to House of Commons (currently we have about 330 MPs and 105 Senators).
    Then, by random draw, have 105 MPs serve as “Senators” for one year, then they rotate back into the commons, and another 105 randomly drawn MPs replace them for a year. Rinse and repeat.

    Edit: The only elections would be the standard federal election every 4 years or so. An MP would be a regular MP until drawn, then spend one year in the Senate, then go back to being an MP again.

    • God, even I’d prefer abolishment to that.

      All the downsides of elections, super short terms, and random selection, rolled into one steaming pile of dog-crap. No thank you.

      • See my edit.

        • Doesn’t change a thing. Life long terms in the senate are a feature, not a bug. They allow senators to gain experience with the legislation. They reduce the incentive toward corruption since senators don’t need to worry about what they’ll do after their senate job. And perhaps more importantly, they serve to make the senate a place that reflects Canada’s values over the long term, not just whatever the passing fad is.

          Imagine, if you will, a bunch of senators appointed shortly before or after 9/11, 2001.

          No, really, the only change that needs to happen to the senate is to add some public accountability via the possibility of a recall vote. Ideally, such a vote would happen automatically with every federal election, whereby the voting public could choose one senator they’d like to see given the boot. If over 50% of the electorate agree, that guys out. This bar is high enough that it gives the senate some room to undertake decisions that may not be popular even if they’re the correct ones, but the fear of losing the cush job should serve to keep the most egregious violations at bay.

  9. Justin Trudeau.

    Open.
    Accountable.
    Accessible to the media
    Not afraid of tough questions.

    At least Harper gives year end interviews to some of the media that hate him.

    • The THIRD sentence in that article: “Watch what happened after Trudeau finished an interview with our Quebec sister network, TVA, at the Sun Parliamentary Bureau:”

      Didn’t even wait till the end of the year neither.

      • TVA isn’t Sun News and you know it.

        So you have no problem with the way he treated Proussalides? That seem open and accessible to you?

        Aaron, what do you think? You & pretty much everyone at Maclean’s save Wells probably hate Harper roughly about as much as Sun News hates Trudeau. If Harper treated you the way Trudeau treated Dan in this video, would you write about it here? Would that video be shown on the National?

        • He dared to ask the most obvious question: what changed? Its obvious they are still liberals and they’ve vowed to advance Justin’s agenda nonetheless. Justin absolutely needs the cover of his friends in the media who will dutifully avoid putting Justin on the spot. As such this clip will get zero airtime for the same reason that Joan Bryden of the AP didn’t break the story before Justin announced. Then Joan follows with a “news report” that could have been written by the Liberals’ finest spinmeisters. Our corrupt media on display.

    • Just to be clear – Harper (rarely) gives interviews to outlets who arrange for an interview.

      I have yet to see him sit down with a reporter who ambushes him after he gives an interview to another reporter. This was a set up, plain and simple, and if it is the best you have, you don’t have much.

      But then I already knew that.

      • I have yet to see Trudeau entertain a single question from Sun News on any topic, ever.

        More than once I’ve seen him run scurrying away from a Sun reporter.

        So just tell me you’re OK if Harper treats Wherry, or Susan Delacourt, or Jennifer Ditchburn, or Bob Fife, etc., in exactly the same way Trudeau just acted, and we can end the discussion here.

        • Well your question relies on the presumption that any of those people are openly hostile to Harper. Which is simply untrue. It further relies on the presumption that any of those credible reporters would ambush Harper. Which is also simply untrue.

          I hope Trudeau never gives the Sun the time of day. They have made it very clear they oppose him in every way – they express pride in their bias. This fiction of media bias against the conservatives is totally made up in their weak attempt to justify their hostility towards the liberals and NDP. I understand you have bought into that silly little paranoid conspiracy theory, but I am capable of independent thought.

  10. Regarding Mr. Manning’s observation that true independence begins with election, I would point out the CRAP caucus in the House. Where’s the “true independence” of the seals? Why are we to believe an elected CRAP caucus in the Senate would be any different? They’d just be older and lazier.

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