Whenever the vexed topic of Senate reform comes up, I’ve always tried to show the absurd air of unreality that surrounds the Harper government’s vapid proposals for making an elected Senate — what happens when the Senate and the House disagree? What happens if the Prime Minister refuses to appoint a Senate-electee, as the legislation allows him to do? And so on. At least as proposed by Harper, Senate reform is wholly unworkable, either a pointless dead letter at best or a state of permanent constitutional crisis at worst.
Some people have concluded that this means the Senate reform idea is just BS (I’ve said that before myself). But there’s a broader problem here, because although Senate reform is a particularly thorny issue, so many of the government’s proposals display the same sort of determined denial of reality and insistence that the obviously unworkable programs really will work. Many assume the simple answer is that the Conservatives are lying.
Some of them probably are, but I think an equally valid answer, one that applies to many of them at any rate, is that they’re simply idiots, too gullible and moronic and shallow-minded to be trusted with the governing of this country. That vacuousness was recently displayed in record amounts by backbench MP Peter Goldring, who is calling upon his Prime Minister to annex the Turks and Caicos islands in the Caribbean.
How Goldring can be a member of the government caucus is beyond me. This is a man who recently got off a drunk driving charge on the dubious grounds that, upon being pulled over after leaving a bar where he had just consumed what by his own admission was not his first drink of the night, he locked the doors, rolled up the windows, and therefore couldn’t hear the police officer’s orders to submit to a breathalyzer test.
Anyways, thanks to his acquittal, Goldring has been re-admitted to the caucus, because while Stephen Harper will in no way allow accused crooks to stand behind him in Parliament, he’s more than happy to have the loyal support of people who got off on silly technicalities. (You know, the sort of technicalities the Conservatives are always praising when they examine the Criminal Code.) And he’s taken advantage of his newfound freedom to call upon the government to admit Turks and Caicos to Canada as the eleventh province. Goldring proposes a grand bargain: we’ll build hospitals and modern highways for the islanders, and they’ll let us come there on vacation.
This silly scheme, of course, will never happen. What’s more interesting is that Goldring thinks it’s actually plausible to suggest it in the first place. I wonder what his Conservative colleagues from Yukon and Nunavut think about the crackpot idea that we’d give provincial status to a tiny island in the Caribbean while we haven’t yet given it to the territories.
Asked about this, Goldring told the Post that PEI is an island, and the Turks and Caicos are islands, and therefore it should be no problem, displaying the sort of sound logical reasoning that we would expect from someone who just flunked a first-year philosophy course.Tweet