The unSenator - Macleans.ca
 

The unSenator


 

Jacques Demers seems somewhat uneasy with his new profession.

Demers said he would work hard and is convinced that he can succeed in defending vulnerable Canadians when it comes to issues he struggled with in his youth, such as poverty, child abuse and literacy. But he said he has “no idea” whether his new political party is the best vehicle to help him fight for those causes and that he would be reluctant to campaign for the Conservatives in an election.

“I’m not ready for that,” he said. “I’m not a politician who knocks on doors, shakes hands, goes into halls, (telling people to) vote for me, making a bunch of promises and is not able to keep them. I don’t want to play that role. I want to be a loyal man. I will work hard, and at a certain point, there will be a sign I give myself to express myself more.”


 

The unSenator

  1. "..and that he would be reluctant to campaign for the Conservatives in an election."

    What? Independence? In Harper's World? Who does he think he is?

  2. Gee I wonder where he got the idea that his role would be to .. knock on doors, shake hands, go into halls, (telling people who to) vote for , making a bunch of promises and is not able to keep them… His colleague Senator Duffy?

  3. Do you really think this is news to those who appointed him?

    Duffy is the happy warrior, Wallin a little less so……but I dont think anyone thought Demers would be Mr Partisan. Not all senators are and many arent.

    • Then why the strident and never-ending commentary from Harper proclaiming Liberal obstruction in the Senate?

      • "Duffy is the happy warrior…"

        That waddling mass of flesh, a warrior?

        Some people's notions of toughness these days are really curious.

      • Because many obstructionist senators are Liberal.

        Deductive reasoning: what a concept, eh?

  4. Good to hear. Senators, and MPs, are at their best when partisanship isn't their driving force, and particularly like M. Demers, are invested and focused on a couple of issues, rather than rattling off talking points on everything under the sun.

    • Hear, hear. In fact I think becoming strictly non-partisan should top the list of Senate reforms. (It would have to remain unelected, but the change would lend itself to a much-improved selection process involving premiers. Because they're unelected, perhaps the House a super-majority veto over Senate votes should be considered too.)

  5. It's possible he doesn't actually know the exact job he's been handed. I'm not joking, here.

    • Yes. I think, in fact, most of us do not understand the job of Senator, and wouldn't unless appointed.

  6. Dang, Mr. Angry actually appointed someone to the Senate who seems decent and as un-Duffy as one can be. I wonder who will be remembered more fondly, a former coach using is life experience to help others who are in need and from left-wing fringe groups (you know ,women, the poor and the disabled), or the pathetic wannabe partisan who jettisoned any respectability from his journalistic profession so he can wallow in hypocritical and abhorrent behaviour? Mr. Angry and his Meaningless Peons (MPs) will not be pleased with Mr. Demers' decency.

  7. How happy were you this morning to see the new polls Aaron? Cry into your corn flakes?

    • Ask Stevie to give you a glance at the daily tracking polls before you run out to buy more CPC stock.

    • Seriously? I think Aaron would do us a world of good if he could express in simple terms the approach he takes in his blog postings in order to dispel this kind of nonsense ad hominem attack. I've seen him do exactly the same thing regardelss of political stripe. Being in Governemnt makes it more likely that a Government member will be the subject, not their political stripe. If he would indulge us he might forestall this kind of goofiness.

  8. I hope this doesn't come across as snarky, because I am genuinely curious – but how exactly can a Senator advance those issues? I have no intention of denigrating the good name of M. Demers (after all I bleed bleu, blanc et rouge ;), and unless I am missing something here, I don't know how any of those issues fall under the purview of the Upper Chamber.

    Can anybody clarify for me?

    • 1. "Poverty" is such a broad policy topic, that there are plenty of legislative avenues the federal government or a Senator could pursue to help alleviate it.

      2. "child abuse" – certainly in part relates to provisions within the Criminal Code, which is a federal jurisdiction.

      3. "literacy" seems more like an education issue, which would mostly be a provicial concern, but the feds can always make more funding arrangements.

      Then there is the generall awareness and advocacy the Demers could involve himself in outside the chamber having the profile of both a Stanley Cup winning coach and a Senator.

      • Thanks for the reply, but I still don't know how the first two issues, which certainly are federal in jurisdiction can actually be advanced through the Senate. A Senator cannot introduce legislation right? They do sit on committees though right? Perhaps it is through this avenue that he can try to shape legislation that goes through his committee to fit what he sees is a realistic way to approach these topics?

        I suspect your last point is the correct one – he means it in more of a general advocacy sort of way, after all he certainly does have a lot more political legitimacy now.

        thanks for the reply!

      • Thanks for the reply, but I still don't know how the first two issues, which certainly are federal in jurisdiction can actually be advanced through the Senate. A Senator cannot introduce legislation right? They do sit on committees though right? Perhaps it is through this avenue that he can try to shape legislation that goes through his committee to fit what he sees is a realistic way to approach these topics?

        I suspect your last point is the correct one – he means it in more of a general advocacy sort of way, after all he certainly does have a lot more political legitimacy now.

        cheers

        • Other than money bills, legislation can be introduced in either the Senate or House.

  9. Senators can introduce legislation, in a similar fashion to Private Members Bills in the House, so certainly M. Demers could do something on one of his issues in this manner.

  10. Oh Right! I had forgotten that.

    But realisitically speaking how much chance does a Senator's bill have of passing when even Private Member's bills have a notoriously low success rate? I suspect it's pretty much slim to none. Am I right on this one? Are there any parliamentary experts who know how many bills introduced by Senators actually get passed?

    • I wouldn't know off hand, I do know that if one is to be sucessful, it winds up being sponsored by a member of the HoC. I think there was a national lighthouse restoration one that got passed awhile back.

    • The essence of your question really seems to have more to do with how much can any Senator do, not simply what can Senator Demers do any these enumerated issues.

      • Yes, I would agree with that characterization of my evolving question.

        What started as a specific question has changed into a broader question about whether a Senator's bill is more or less likely to pass than a Private Member's.