NDP challenge Harper to do what he said he'd do

From a new NDP press release:

OTTAWA—New Democrats today challenged Stephen Harper to, as a bare minimum, place enforceable term-limits on the next round of Senate appointments, a long promised policy of the Conservative Party.

“Mr. Harper’s record on Senate reform is long on rhetoric, and short on action,” said New Democrat Democratic Reform Critic David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre). “Making new Senators agree to an enforceable term limit, as Mr. Harper has repeatedly promised, would be a modest step toward Senate reform.”

I have a column in the Citizen today arguing that if Harper is serious about Senate reform, the appointments process is the place to focus his attention. Except I don’t actually think that Harper cares about Senate reform one way or another; like abortion in the US, it is one of those useful issues that Conservatives in Canada use to keep their base on a low boil. They are always just about to do something about it, though they never seem to get there. Senate reform for Harper is a tactical device, not part of a serious strategic agenda.