Or so ITQ would assume, what with the formerly-Liberal-held vacancies starting to pile up, and the parliamentary circus coming back to town in just over a month. According to the Senate website, there are currently seven empty seats in the Red Chamber, and actually, that list is slightly out of date, since it doesn’t include Emyard Corbin, whose term expired over the weekend. Add in Lise Bacon, whose red letter day will roll around on August 25th, and we could be looking at as many as nine newly minted senators by Labour Day — presuming, of course, that the prime minister lives up to his constitutional duties, and doesn’t plan on restarting that ultimately futile war of attrition that ended with a record-breaking eighteen appointments in a single day.
As of today, the geography breakdown is as follows:
New Brunswick: 1
Nova Scotia: 1
If the PM can hold off until the end of the month, that will give him a third Quebec seat to fill — and another Newfoundland spot will become available on October 6th, when Joan Cook will retires. It seems unlikely, though, that he would wait that long to restock his party’s Senate caucus — after all, he can’t very well blame the Liberals for stonewalling legislation if he doesn’t even make an effort to secure every last vote, can he? As such, ITQ is predicting an announcement just before the Labour Day long weekend — insert tired and predictable joke about using “Labour” and “senate” in the same sentence here — but that’s where her crystal ball fades to white.
Will defeated Nova Scotia premier Rodney MacDonald being fiddling in the Senate foyer before the snow flies? What about one of the New Brunswick’s Bernards — Valcourt or Lord? Then there’s John Tory, who might just be willing to give up his shot at mayoral glory for a safe berth in the upper House — and to make the Ontario caucus even more interesting, why not throw in Randy Hillier as a bonus? Perhaps Michael Fortier will make a not-so-triumphant return. There’s also always the faint possibility that the prime minister might be feeling mischievous enough to send a few non-Conservatives into the fray. Jean Lapierre? Alexa McDonough? Warren Kinsella? (Or would he insist on sitting as an Albertan, Calgary boy that he is?)
Over to you, commenters: Who do you think should be checking their voice mail for the call later this month?