Friday, August 28, 2009

More reviews are in

Andrew Coyne:
As ever with Stephen Harper, there is an in-your-face element to the latest batch of Senate appointments. It’s almost as if he said to himself, okay, if I’m going to get slammed for these appointments anyway, what are the most obnoxiously partisan, disgustingly sycophantic choices I can make? I know — I’ll name my former press flack! No, wait — I’ll name the president of the party! Or maybe — yes! — the most hyper-partisan, Grit-hating thug I know, my former campaign manager!

I’ve got it! I’ll appoint all of them!

Yes, I know, the Liberals did just the same for years — the same Grits who are now assailing the appointments, just as the Tories used to attack theirs. This is the cycle we have become caught in, each party justifying its own excesses by the other’s, each hypocritically accusing the other of hypocrisy. And the public, educated by long useage to expect no better, cannot even be roused to outrage any more. Time was when this sort of flagrant cronyism would have caused a scandal. Certainly in any other country it would. But not here, not any more.

We have a deeply, deeply cynical political culture, and the Senate is a big part of it. A country that teaches itself to accept that one of its two legislative bodies should be composed almost entirely of appointed party hacks and bagmen (the other being made up of obedient ciphers) can accommodate itself to a great many things.
Of course, there's one key flaw in Coyne's reasoning, as there's one party which continues to work to point out the rot which goes to the core of each of the Libs and Cons. Which means that the main question arising from Harper's latest excesses is that of whether genuine outrage and desire for change can surface amidst the kabuki theatre playing out as ever between the two parties who have made the Senate into the dumping ground that it is.

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