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No Senator Sam

December 22nd, 2008 · 21 Comments

Prime Minister Harper’s appointments have just been announced and, in spite of rampant speculation from some that former mayor Sam Sullivan would be on the list, no such thing.

The B.C. choices are Nancy Greene Raine, MLA Richard Neufeld (whew! won’t have to go through that May election) and Yonah Martin, a 43-year-old teacher, former Conservative Party candidate, and Korean-Canadian community activists who is so diligent about her public image that her Wikipedia page already lists her Senate appointment, even though it was only publicly announced a few hours ago.

Categories: Uncategorized

  • Denis

    So Sam didn’t get on the gravy train.Gosh . No loss for the senate. They must be scraping the bottom of the barrel but Steveboy was busy shoring up his east coast section. The reform section of Harpers gang will have to grin and bear it. 135,000 till 75 isn’t bad bucks. Sure beats a lot of folks wages, or pensions, but ordinary folk don’t get the cushy positions

  • Blaffergassted

    You’ll also notice that Yonah’s wikipedia entry also states that she’ll be running as a Conservative candidate in the NEXT federal election, too.

    I guess diligence only goes so far.

  • mt

    lol – senator sam, really, cmon.

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    Yes mt, yes. The dopes in the Minster’s Regional Office were shilling for Sam. They even co-opted one new MP from British Columbia who should have known better.

    This is the same crew who were critical of the Liberals when they occupied the MRO for “partisanship”.

    Your federal tax dollar at work: Shilling for the worst Mayor in Vancouver’s history.

    If you’re an NDPer or Grit or even mindful Tory…how fair is that?

    Those that were committing to such insanity, should be fired–period–for atttempting to bastardize (further) the Red Chamber.

  • Coldwater

    a defeated mayor might not have been senator material, but at least two people (one from Nfld and one from BC) rejected by the people in the constituency they ran in, have, in the opinion of the PM, the right stuff. Appointing defeated candidates is so cynical. But hey what do you expect from a guy without a mandate.

  • obscurantist

    In some ways Sullivan might’ve made a better senator than Larry Campbell. While his self-aggrandizing and control-freak tendencies made him a disaster as mayor, Sullivan arguably gets more genuinely engaged in in the specific details of a given policy debate than Campbell does.

  • LP


    And I suppose you would agree with Barbara Yaffe suggesting in The Vancouver Sun that Stephane Dion should be appointed to the Senate then…because he had a “mandate” from the people?

    You know the ‘mandate’ where he decimated the LPC, received the lowest vote in their history, etc..

    Or perhaps you’re a Layton supporter who had even less support from the Canadian people then the sorry LPC did?

    Please…you folks that keep suggesting Harper doesn’t have a mandate, and/or that he no longer has the confidence of the house are delusional.

    We’ll see come January 27th if your new messiah votes with the coalition, or if he crawls back under the rock he came from knowing he will face certain defeat from the electorate.

    The MAJORITY of Canadians did not vote knowing the Liberals and NDP would align themselves with the Bloc and you folks suggesting otherwise are living in denial.

  • Coldwater

    The majority of Canadians did NOT vote for Harper and yet he thinks he has a mandate…bone up on your constitution before making wacky statements about who has a mandate. In a minority situation the group or groups that can command the majority of the seats forms the government. If Haperper hadn’t been so bloody minded he could have had that. He chose to be an A**hole and this is where it got him. You like that in a leader? Good for you.

    And before you get holier than thou, remember that Harper was willing to work with the Bloc to defeat the Liberals under Martin. In

  • LP


    Paul Martin dithered and he paid the price. Had he lead with some balls things may be a lot differently now. He didn’t, they aren’t.

    Harper may not rule how YOU and your fellow LPC and NDPer’s like, but he did win more seats than in the previous election, so he must be doing something right, along with all that wrong you complain about now, eh!

    As for constitutional arguments, I’ll debate you any day. The party you voted for had less of a mandate to govern than Harper and had your party had the balls to put their plans on the table for the electorate to decide prior to the election, your party would have been voted into oblivion.

    You want to talk constitutionally, should your messiah vote down the government in January, and the GG refuses an election, the Supreme Court will be called on to determine if a coalition can be created in the middle of a so-called term of office.

    The Conservatives and their constitutional ‘experts’ argue that a coalition can only be formed immediately after an election. This presently is not the case.

    Of course your side’s constitutional ‘experts’ will argue otherwise. Rather than get into a pissing match with you, since neither of us would hold the deciding yay or nay, I’ll leave it to the Supreme Court, if and when the time comes.

    As far as I can tell you either supported Dion, possibly the most inept Liberal to ever lead that party, or Layton, a guy who would is so desperate for power he would sell off Canada to the Bloc for a chance to sit on the other side of the chamber.

    Neither of those men are better prospects to lead this country than Harper whether you like to admit that or not.

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    All hail to LP who actually understands the issue.

    Coldwater is frozen over. Has been from the outset.

    Yes, The Pm may have comported himself like a sphincter but that does not mean that we invite an ignorant fool like Dion to the table, nor Duceppe, whose sole mandate it is to break up the country–whether he moves to do so or not is immaterial.

    Those who continue to pump for this so-called coalition, are either complete fools or not-so innocent political opportunists.

    What has become of us that we are so lost in our political gamesmanship that respect for our national sovereignty, we toss from the top floor balcony???

    Shame that this utterly ill-conceived notion is still offered up as anything other than a dry heave.

  • ptak604

    Personally, I find all the personalities involved odious, and find myself curiously unmotivated by any possible leadership outcome (we are talking about Harper or Ignatieff here, which is sort of like choosing syphilis or gonorrhoea). But pretending that this is something unfair or illegal is frankly nonsense. This isn’t a matter of “sides,” it’s a matter of tradition and precedent. Apart from all of the situational particulars, coalitions are a potential outcome in any parliament with multiple parties and no majority. To argue that it’s somehow illegal is either to be completely ignorant of British parliamentary traditions, or a partisan hack looking to see power remain in the hands of the Conservatives. Raising the spectre of a Supreme Court case is impressive grandstanding, but nothing more-there is no case here (GTFO with that “middle of a term of office” nonsense. Sure, let’s call elections every month until we Labour Day just so your party is happy). If the coalition takes power, make as much political hay of it as you want. As long as the people elect a Parliament and not a government, coalitions are fair game. Man up, accept that, and plan the political push-back. I realize that this line of argumentation is in fact that push-back, but it’s painfully dishonest, even from Senate Reform Steve, man of the fixed election date, real ethics legislation, and no inducements for MP votes.

    Oh, and Alex, two points. First, try and get the leader of the Liberal party right. Second, if we’re talking about sovereignty, let’s talk about nation resolutions supported by Captain Alberta (honourable mention to the Count for being the academic genius that started that nonsense off in the first place). I’m struggling to see the champion of a united Canada here.

  • Coldwater

    LP: you know nothing of me or how I vote (thank goodness for the sanctity of the ballot box) but I will tell you that I was a long time conservative–even sat on the national executive of the party at one point about 30 years ago–but am not and never will be a Reformer/Alliance member. Sir John A., John Diefenbaker, and Robert Stanfield would never couch what this lot is doing in Ottawa. Using hatred and prejudice and fear-mongering to brow beat people. Bald face lying. Doing exactly what the other leaders said they planned to do, after saying the others had no plan. (I am reminded of Pierre Trudeau using the same tactics against Stanfield vis a vis Wage and Price controls, and then implementing them after the election.) I am ashamed that they use the word conservative to justify what they are doing. They do a proud party a great disservice. They are not conservatives (except in name), simply mean-spirited opportunists.

    Oh and I don’t where your constitutional experts get the idea coalitions can only be formed immediately after an election. You do your cause no help using such infantile and fallacious arguments.

  • LP


    You write: “Oh and I don’t where your constitutional experts get the idea coalitions can only be formed immediately after an election. You do your cause no help using such infantile and fallacious arguments.”

    I wrote: “The Conservatives and their constitutional ‘experts’ argue that a coalition can only be formed immediately after an election. This presently is not the case.”

    Note how I wrote “the conservatives and their constitutional experts…”

    Infantile and fallacious, please. There is currently no PRECEDENT under the CURRENT constitution for a coalition to be formed from opposition parties should a government be defeated with a non-confidence vote in the House during a so-called government term.

    The previous time was in the 20’s if I’m not mistaken when Canada was governed under the BNA Act. Canada still flew the Union Jack, did not have a national anthem, and Newfoundland was still governing itself.

    There is absolutely no reason for Harper to just hand over the keys to 24 Sussex to an opposition ‘coalition’ without testing the legality of said coalition in court. That’s not infantile, that’s just common sense if an election is not called by the GG – when there is no public support for the coalition.

    Further if you’ve paid any attention at all to both left AND right wing media, you would have heard much of what I’ve wrote. Of course each side brings forward their own ‘experts’, constitutional or otherwise to debate these very points.

    As I stated, I’m not going to waste any time arguing with anyone the validity of the argument, I was simply stating the ‘other’ side since you consistently flog that leftist propaganda that “Harper doesn’t have a mandate.”

    To keep up with you on the voting front, I voted for Chretien in 93 and Martin, thinking he would make a great leader. Boy was I wrong. I don’t consider myself anything but a centrist and do not own a membership to any party for that matter. I will even add that I thought Broadbent was a decent fellow even though I did not or would not vote for him.

    Going one step further, with your respect to your “Harper doesn’t have a mandate” mantra, under the current electoral regulations we follow in this country, YES he does.

    If you no longer like how we elect our representatives, perhaps you need to start advocating for electoral reform – that seems to be what your argument is about seeing that it doesn’t hold water with how our current mandates are decided.

  • LP


    To address another one of your statements re: calling the current bunch of conservatives “mean-spirited opportunists”, I believe this is a very misguided belief.

    Politics in this country has become VERY nasty over the last 10-15 years. Where the blame lies is not with any one party but rather all of them. Chretien turned out to be quite the a**hole.

    I liked him in ’93, had quite enough of the pr*ck by ’97. His style of governing though could be traced back to the obliteration of the PC’s and the fact he had no real opposition to contend with though. Arrogance can build up real fast when you can bully everyone around.

    Rather than continue just with federal politics and go year by year with possible causes for the current 5-headed Medusa in Ottawa, I’ll bring Gordon Campbell into it.

    With the NDP being reduced to 2 seats in his first win, again the arrogance came pretty fast. I suppose one could argue that having to tolerate double “J” (that would be Joy McPhail and Jenny Kwan) every day would do that to anyone though.

    Nowadays the NDP can’t seem to open their mouths without the prerequisite complaint about Gordon Campbell before actually speaking on point. All I want to hear is their stance and what they would do better.

    Unfortunately their communications people have convinced them that if they say the same thing ad nauseam the public may start believing it.

    I won’t even get started on the civic side of nastiness that has overtaken this city over the past 9 or so years.

    Power is power and everyone involved, fights for control for their own selfish reasons. At least for the past 10-15 years.

    Politics in every level of government has now become a blood-sport. Eat or be eaten – period. Why is it that when the left throws the punches, they’re justified, while when the right does it, they’re mean-spirited?

    Claiming the current conservatives are mean-spirited is also claiming the opposition parties are not to blame for any of this continuing b*llsh*t.

    That Coldwater, is infantile and fallacious.

  • LP


    Man up yourself!

    Based on your statements ala “Senate Reform Steve, man of the fixed election date, real ethics legislation, and no inducements for MP votes.”, we know which side of the coalition you sit on anyway.

    As long as politicians are lawyers or vice versa, these types of things are always possible, and in fact since when is challenging any law in court dishonest?

    Oh I’m sorry, it’s wrong when the right does it, but not when the left does it!

    And by the way British Parliamentary traditions MAY no longer be relevant since 1982. There should be nothing wrong in challenging that in court.

    If you have a problem with that perhaps you should move to a more socialist country where laws cannot be challenged. Cuba, Venezuela, maybe….

  • A. G. Tsakumis


    That’s precisely my point. There is no champion for a united Canada, so why then add the additional, perhaps fatal, ingredient of cutting a deal with separatists?

    And as to my noting Dion, I did so only as a reference. I am keenly aware of Mr. Ignatieff and your penchant for misreading posts by those who you might not quite understand, but will leap to conclusions about at almost any point.


  • ptak604

    Actually LP, you don’t know where I stand on the coalition, only where I stand on the use of precendent and tradition in politics. This would make me, in this case, conservative. I think I mentioned my distaste for Ignatieff as well as Harper? Allow me to toss Mr. Layton onto that pile of disrepute-I would not buy a used kitchen table from him, never mind sit around one with him. I would accept a Liberal/NDP coalition with slightly less distaste than a Harper government, but please don’t mistake that for approval or excitement. Frankly, I’d take someone of almost any political stripe who could combine honesty and competence, but this combination seems to be beyond our current batch of federal leaders.

    Mr. Tsakumis, you made a reference in a present tense to Mr. Dion. I realize that you’d like people to cast your writing in the best light, but you are unfortunately stuck with what is actually there-not that there is a great deal there.

    And of course gentlemen, this is likely all moot, as Mr. Ignatieff does not seem amenable to any sort of coalition.

  • A. G. Tsakumis


    You are annoying if nothing else. I was eing rhetorical. Tense aside, you should have been able to reckon what I was writing without my help. What if I made an error? Oh, sorry I forgot, you don’t…hiding behind ptak604. I do not bother, as most others, to worry too much about blog writing being my best foot forward. And yes, my columns are held in the highest order by thousands, weekly. Your penis-envy notwithstanding.

  • LP


    The use of precedent and tradition in politics would only be relevant if the two parties threatening to force a coalition had more votes and more seats than the party given the mandate to govern.

    They (Liberals and NDP) cannot form a stable government on their own, therefore you have no precedent or tradition. Likewise a court challenge is reasonable considering who they are being supported by to form that government.

    Read again in simple English: There is no precedent or tradition for the current political situation in Canada.

    To suggest you would support a Liberal/NDP coalition that would contain the man you wouldn’t buy a used kitchen table from and a man that you as well have ‘distaste’ for, suggests a more left-leaning persona. I won’t bother listing off the multitudes of other musings you’ve posted here that would support that.

    You aren’t fooling anyone reading these posts where you stand.

  • ptak604

    Funny thing about the parliamentary tradition we’re within: it doesn’t stop at Canada’s borders or at our history. Nor does an exact duplicate of an historical situation have to occur for us to draw lessons from what has come before. It’s clear the idea that the people elect parliament but parliament forms government is distasteful to you (or, more likely, those supplying your talking points), but that distaste doesn’t change that fact. It’s cool though man, you’re not ready to face that. Take it to court; lawyers never really make enough.

    And I’m not trying to fool anyone about where I stand. Again, just because parties I’m somewhat more philosophically inclined to support are behind this coalition does not mean I think it is a good idea. I realize you might have a problem understanding disagreeing with “your side,” but not everyone marches in lockstep with their colours. Again, it’s better than Harper, but worse than a coalition that contains the representatives of a parliamentary majority in it’s cabinet. Deals like those signed with the Bloc (leaving the united Canada question aside for the moment, which would heavier on me if the Bloc had any intention of actually pursuing seperation, which at this point they do not) are not concrete solid. I’m also unconvinced that the Liberals wouldn’t want to continue to pursue the same market-based economic policies that are currently smashing economies across the planet, and the NDP’s agreement with the policies, no matter how tacit and no matter how much compromise they can wring out of the Libs, is distasteful to me. And the fact that I do not trust either leader is important to me. You’re a Conservative, so you obviously wouldn’t understand why that matters, but for many of us it does.

    Alex, you’re beautiful in your wrath. Tell me more about how others look up to you, that never gets old. One thing though: complaining about anonymity on the internet? What is this, 1998?

  • LP

    Funny, you think I’m a conservative and that’s cool, but you’re mistaken.

    I’d gladly vote for the Liberals should they clean house, get rid of Justin, Bob Rae, and have had a real leadership campaign that produced a leader who’s spent some time in this country over his lifetime. They continue to run their party with unbounded arrogance so I’m done with them until a) the Conservatives deserve to be voted out, or b) they elect a leader I can tolerate.

    It seems as though in your posts you like to belittle or speak down to people. Your first comment to me was ‘to man-up’, now you tell me I’m not ready to face reality.

    Are you able to have a debate without personally attacking people or does that give you a some sort of continually unsatisfying pleasure?

    Why is it that you need to attack people’s character instead of providing good debating points?

    Using anonymity on the Internet so you can be the assh*le you only wish you were in your real life must be very sad. Perhaps some counseling would be in order.