Would you support the appointment of former NDP MP Peter Stoffer to the Senate?

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terrytowel
Would you support the appointment of former NDP MP Peter Stoffer to the Senate?

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terrytowel

An online petition is calling on Justin Trudeau to appoint former NDP MP Peter Stoffer to the Senate.

Peter Stoffer told The Huffington Post Canada Thursday that "it's nice" of people to consider him for the Senate, but he believes there are others more fit for the task.

"It's very thoughtful of people to consider me in that regard, but to be honest with you it's extremely premature for me to talk in any way, shape or form on an issue of that nature," he said.

"There are literally thousands of Canadians out there much more qualified than myself to do that, and at the end of the day, it's always up to the prime minister to determine."

CBC News reported in October that Trudeau would appoint new senators with the help of a panel. Those chosen would sit as independents, according to The Globe and Mail.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/11/12/peter-stoffer-senator-petition-t...

So if you agree I hope you sign the petition! I did. If you don't agree (because the official NDP policy is abolishment) discuss.

Either way here is the petition. Those who support this movement, please sign.

https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/senator-appointment.html

Unionist

terrytowel wrote:

"It's very thoughtful of people to consider me in that regard, but to be honest with you it's extremely premature for me to talk in any way, shape or form on an issue of that nature," he said.

Ha - the shameless asshole actually wants it!

I say appoint him to the Senate, on condition he agrees to face Trudeau in the ring.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Would he have to wear orange trunks?

Unionist

Ken Burch wrote:

Would he have to wear orange trunks?

Good question. If Trudeau appoints him, wouldn't he be sitting as a non-Liberal? What colour are they?

quizzical

he won't mind wearing orange he's Dutch. Tongue out

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Truth be told, tt, I doubt many NDP supporters would care.  And it doesn't really sound like Stoffer wants the appointment.

Of all the problems the NDP had in this election, the pledge to abolish the Senate wasn't one of them.  After all, the same pledge was in the NDP platform in 2011, when the party took over 102 seats. 

Debater

Ken B, the pledge to abolish the Senate was not the biggest problem for the NDP in this campaign, but it was a problematic position all the same.

On another thread I quoted the Chantal Hebert column where she pointed out that it was an unappealing policy for Mulcair in Quebec and that it put him at odds with Premier Couillard.

Cody87

Beyond putting Mulcair at odds with Quebec, it made Mulcair look like he had his head in the sand.

Although, considering the rest of the election and the response of NDP brass after the election, I should probably say it showed that Mulcair has his head in the sand.

Debater

Here's what Chantal Hébert wrote on October 1:

NDP’s platform of limited appeal in Quebec

Mulcair’s call to open the Constitution to abolish the Senate is similarly of limited appeal.

For one, it pits the NDP leader against Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard. He believes the Senate should be reformed, not abolished. And then there is the matter of Quebec’s own longstanding constitutional agenda. Couillard insists that a round on the Senate would have to include it as well.

http://www.ourwindsor.ca/opinion-story/5941575-ndp-s-platform-of-limited...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Cody87 wrote:

Beyond putting Mulcair at odds with Quebec, it made Mulcair look like he had his head in the sand.

Although, considering the rest of the election and the response of NDP brass after the election, I should probably say it showed that Mulcair has his head in the sand.

Well said.

The Senate issue was not the only problem but it is a glaring example of not listening to the people and almost outright lying about how doable it was as a project. Nobody in the country except a minority of Quebec voters wanted to reopen the constitution. Low information voters didn't care and high information voters like me knew from the get go that you can't reopen the constitution without putting everything on the table. Sure the plank was in the 2011 play book but that was before they doubled down on the issue with the Roll Up the Carpet to Win campaign.

Debater

Unionist wrote:

terrytowel wrote:

"It's very thoughtful of people to consider me in that regard, but to be honest with you it's extremely premature for me to talk in any way, shape or form on an issue of that nature," he said.

Ha - the shameless asshole actually wants it!

I say appoint him to the Senate, on condition he agrees to face Trudeau in the ring.

I think Trudeau's days in the boxing ring are over now that he is PM, but it's a fun match to picture. Wink

On a more serious note, it will be interesting to see what type of Senators will be proposed by Trudeau's team and whether some of them might be people who are amenable to NDP supporters.  If some of the new Senators in the future are former NDPers or those with NDP values, it will make an interesting dynamic.

quizzical

i don't know much about him other than what unionist has carried on about, but i spoke with my mom about him today and she adores him and thinks he'd be a good Senator. 

she said they've had several phone conversations about issues he voted for and she didn't think he should've. who knew?

i don't know what to think now.

 

 

Unionist

quizzical wrote:

i don't know much about him other than what unionist has carried on about, but i spoke with my mom about him today and she adores him and thinks he'd be a good Senator. 

she said they've had several phone conversations about issues he voted for and she didn't think he should've. who knew?

i don't know what to think now.

 

 

Well, maybe remind your mother what someone called Stoffer when he broke ranks and voted for Harper's "Unborn Victims of Crime Act":

http://rabble.ca/comment/894064#comment-894064

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It looks like the intent of this thread is to try and get some NDP types on Babble to go on record saying the continued existence of the Senate wouldn't be all that bad.  Given that Trudeau The Second has a majority and the Senate's survival is in no imminent jeopardy, why would any of the Liberal posters here even bother asking that?  What's the point?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Debater wrote:

Unionist wrote:

terrytowel wrote:

"It's very thoughtful of people to consider me in that regard, but to be honest with you it's extremely premature for me to talk in any way, shape or form on an issue of that nature," he said.

Ha - the shameless asshole actually wants it!

I say appoint him to the Senate, on condition he agrees to face Trudeau in the ring.

I think Trudeau's days in the boxing ring are over now that he is PM, but it's a fun match to picture. Wink

On a more serious note, it will be interesting to see what type of Senators will be proposed by Trudeau's team and whether some of them might be people who are amenable to NDP supporters.  If some of the new Senators in the future are former NDPers or those with NDP values, it will make an interesting dynamic.

His dad appointed at least one former NDP person to the Senate as an independent, IIRC (and, of course, appointed Ernest Manning as the only Social Credit senator).

terrytowel

This thread is about Peter Stoffer continung to work for the people, especially our veterans.

Again CBC News reported in October that Trudeau would appoint new senators with the help of a panel. Those chosen would sit as independents, according to The Globe and Mail.

Not everything on this board is about trashing the NDP.

quizzical

Unionist wrote:
quizzical wrote:
i don't know much about him other than what unionist has carried on about, but i spoke with my mom about him today and she adores him and thinks he'd be a good Senator. 

she said they've had several phone conversations about issues he voted for and she didn't think he should've. who knew?

i don't know what to think now.

 

Well, maybe remind your mother what someone called Stoffer when he broke ranks and voted for Harper's "Unborn Victims of Crime Act":

 

">http://rabble.ca/comment/894064#comment-894064

huh... read it all and mom's postings on Stoffer going to have to do some more talking with her.

Unionist

quizzical wrote:

huh... read it all and mom's postings on Stoffer going to have to do some more talking with her.

Please say hi to her for me! It's been a long time. And definitely don't remind her of [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/feminism/oppose-bill-c484?page=3#comment-894087]... post[/url] (with which I agree 100%, by the way).

terrytowel wrote:
This thread is about Peter Stoffer continung to work for the people, especially our veterans.

Work for our veterans? Oh, you mean... as target practice!!?? What a terrible thought, tt - shame on you.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Debater wrote:

Ken B, the pledge to abolish the Senate was not the biggest problem for the NDP in this campaign, but it was a problematic position all the same.

On another thread I quoted the Chantal Hebert column where she pointed out that it was an unappealing policy for Mulcair in Quebec and that it put him at odds with Premier Couillard.

Debater, you are SO full of it, ALL the time!

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

terrytowel wrote:

This thread is about Peter Stoffer continung to work for the people, especially our veterans.

Again CBC News reported in October that Trudeau would appoint new senators with the help of a panel. Those chosen would sit as independents, according to The Globe and Mail.

Not everything on this board is about trashing the NDP.

Nobody believes you post these kinds of threads for any other reason Terrytowel.

quizzical

Unionist wrote:
quizzical wrote:
huh... read it all and mom's postings on Stoffer going to have to do some more talking with her.

Please say hi to her for me! It's been a long time. And definitely don't remind her of [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/feminism/oppose-bill-c484?page=3#comment-894087]... post[/url] (with which I agree 100%, by the way).

terrytowel wrote:
This thread is about Peter Stoffer continung to work for the people, especially our veterans.

Work for our veterans? Oh, you mean... as target practice!!?? What a terrible thought, tt - shame on you.

you agree with michelle about closing the thread?

anyway had a phone convo with mom, snowing so hard here couldn't get out to have coffee with her, she laughed and said "the senate deserves Stoffer" and she says hello back to you.

terrytowel

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Nobody believes you post these kinds of threads for any other reason Terrytowel.

So Arthur you DON'T support putting Peter Stoffer in the Senate, so he can continue to advocate for our veterans?

terrytowel

Unionist wrote:

quizzical wrote:

you agree with michelle about closing the thread?

Why should this thread be closed?

Unionist

*

Unionist

Terrytowel - she's talking about a 7-year-old thread, not this one. Pay attention.

quizzical wrote:

you agree with michelle about closing the thread?

Hey quizzical, in those days, all threads got closed after about 100 posts - because of people still being on dialup internet - and if I recall, your mom was one of them. That policy was changed a few years ago. That's why the [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/feminism/oppose-bill-c484?page=3#comment-894090]... post by Michelle[/url] says: "Hate to do it, but it's 100 posts now. Start a new one if you'd like."

So FYI, the conversation continued in at least two other threads (which also were closed after about 100 posts each):

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/feminism/bill-c484-who-voted-yay-and-what-going-... C484 Who voted yay and what is going to be done[/url]

and:

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/feminism/bill-c-484-continuing-saga]Bill C-484 - the continuing saga[/url]

There were babblers who didn't mind Stoffer's ultra-pro-Israel stands and his opposition to the NDP call to withdraw from Afghanistan. But breaking ranks to vote for a Harpercon bill treating unborn foetuses as "VICTIMS"? That opened a lot of eyes around here.

Quote:
anyway had a phone convo with mom, snowing so hard here couldn't get out to have coffee with her, she laughed and said "the senate deserves Stoffer" and she says hello back to you.

Kiss

quizzical

it should've twigged me when she used the word "adore". Laughing

wage zombie

terrytowel wrote:

So Arthur you DON'T support putting Peter Stoffer in the Senate, so he can continue to advocate for our veterans?

Nobody gives a fuck.

terrytowel

Except the thousands who signed the petition

Sean in Ottawa

There are NDP types on this Board who do not think the continuation of the Senate is that bad. I am one of them.

I have long supported a reformed Senate over abolition, in part becuase I want there to be a second place to examine issues away from the immediate calculus of government confidence and survival and becuase I want the Senate to go from being a tool of the PMO as it is now to being a check on the PMO. I think that we could use that chamber to bring under-represented views close to the centre of power. I do not want an elected Chamber in competition with the House and I do not think it has to cost what it does now. I agree that party affiliation should be banned from the chamber. I have long argued here that not only is the objective of the kind of radical reform better than abolition, I think it is easier to achieve in the present constitutional framework. The power of the Senate could be diminished with respect to preventing legislation but increased when it comes to public disclosure and access. It could be morphed from a so-called upper house to one that serves the people by discussing, evaluating and sharing infomraiton about legislation out of reach of the political parties in general and the PMO in particular.

So having said all that, I think the Senate played little role in the election and while I disagree with NDP position and am quite obviously closer to the position Trudeau has expressed on this point, this was not a deal-breaker for me and I doubt it was for many. As well I believe my position on refirm of the Senate is far more radical than Trudeau's and would serve to bringing that Chamber to a positive role in governance rather than merely defang it as Trudeau seems to propose.

Stoffer's reputation will be further damaged if he accepts an appointment to the Senate from Trudeau. Even if you agree with the reform I want to see, that involves no longer having a PMO role in appointments.

wage zombie

terrytowel wrote:

Except the thousands who signed the petition

Clearly you don't know what you're talking about.

Debater

Ken Burch wrote:

It looks like the intent of this thread is to try and get some NDP types on Babble to go on record saying the continued existence of the Senate wouldn't be all that bad.  Given that Trudeau The Second has a majority and the Senate's survival is in no imminent jeopardy, why would any of the Liberal posters here even bother asking that?  What's the point?

Uh, there's a Conservative Majority in the Senate, Ken.

I assume you have noticed?

It's hard to know at this point how they will react to the new Liberal Government and whether they will try to obstruct it.

Sean in Ottawa

Debater wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

It looks like the intent of this thread is to try and get some NDP types on Babble to go on record saying the continued existence of the Senate wouldn't be all that bad.  Given that Trudeau The Second has a majority and the Senate's survival is in no imminent jeopardy, why would any of the Liberal posters here even bother asking that?  What's the point?

Uh, there's a Conservative Majority in the Senate, Ken.

I assume you have noticed?

It's hard to know at this point how they will react to the new Liberal Government and whether they will try to obstruct it.

The Liberal government will have to put non-Conservatives in the Senate and Trudeau should not be criticized just for doing that. The question is how -- the mechanism for the selections. If Trudeau chooses and names the people (or his party does) then he should be called out for doing so.

If he finds a public process -- perhaps working with the Provinces or seeking all-party approvals then he may be able to do something in the interim. Mulcair would have faced the same choice. Ultimately the Senate does have power and given the Conservative majority, the government will need new Senators named -- how they go about that will be a test of character and the value of promises.I do not think we have to speculate that the Conservative Senators would obstruct the Liberal government. Unless Trudeau breaks most of his promises, they surely will.

quizzical

lot of thought provoking things you've said Sean in this thread. i've enjoyed reading these longgg posts.

 

where do you find non-partisan people whose only interest is to make good laws for the rest of us? and i'm asking this honestly as i'm trying to find a public process instead of them being appointments by the PMO or elected.

who would select the committee to select the committee?

why would the provinces have anything to do with it other than making sure they got their share?

Unionist

I think Peter Stoffer should be appointed to head up a Military Commission to make recommendations about what to do to the Senate.

They could start with dismissing some of the worst actors. That could be done by naming a "Firing Squad" (so to speak).

They could also recommend naming Justin Trudeau to the Senate. Two advantages: 1) He would no longer be a member of the Liberal caucus. 2) He could vie for a role as Speaker or some other function via mano-a-mano combat (using the well-know Patrick Precedent).

Then, the Liberal Party could advise the Governor-General that the new PM is... Peter Stoffer! Remember, because the PM doesn't exist constitutionally speaking, there are no mandatory criteria for who it must be or what qualifications they must fulfill. Proof: The entire history of Prime Ministers in Canadian history.

So many possibilities are opened up by this thread. Just the chance for Peter Stoffer to have paid employment (which would be otherwise inconceivable in any fair job market) is worth exploring these concepts.

Sean in Ottawa

quizzical wrote:

lot of thought provoking things you've said Sean in this thread. i've enjoyed reading these longgg posts.

 

where do you find non-partisan people whose only interest is to make good laws for the rest of us? and i'm asking this honestly as i'm trying to find a public process instead of them being appointments by the PMO or elected.

who would select the committee to select the committee?

why would the provinces have anything to do with it other than making sure they got their share?

 Well you have nailed the critical questions here and I agree this is not easy.

I don't think that people have to be non-partisan in every way. But there are ways to help move in that direction. We should exclude party affiliation from the position (on this I agree with Trudeau). But that is not enough. There may be ways to downgrade the partisanship: One option may be to exclude those who have held party memberships in the last two years although that may be too extreme. Another might be to allow memberships held except in the case where the person worked for the party or has been publicly associated with it. That too may be too extreme. Perhaps merely asking them upon appointment to dissociate with the party and not hold a membership or work for the party is as much as you can ask of a candidate. Obviously, this is not perfectly clean or easy. So that leads to your next question. 

A committee might only be non-partisan if it includes partisan members form all parties. In this case you have a better chance of cancelling out partisanship than avoiding it by ignoring that it exists. Presumably an all-party committee would not be able to agree to a partisan appointment. It might be difficult to do this perfectly. You can imagine examinations of a person's past to try to identify affiliation but this may still result in a fair process. A committee may trade off some who are not very partisan but who only lean slightly to one party or another with others who lean slightly the other way. Presumably, without public loyalties and affiliations we can have something that while imperfect is way better than what we have now.

The committee would have to be selected by agreement among a group of people as you cannot have a single person realistically be relied on to be unbiased.

The provinces are part of the calculation as the Senate in part is to represent regional concerns. Naturally, the provincial government alone could not participate as it would re-enter a partisan position. However, if the mechanism allowed for all party nominations from the provinces to whatever list the federal committee considered, this might be acceptable. If nominations had to go both through an all-party provincial committee and a federal all-party committee, I think partisan hacks would not be able to get through. Even the federal provincial tension would be balanced as the provinces would not allow a person who would be against the interests of the province just as the federal committee would not allow those who merely wanted to tear down the federal government. It is true that avowed separatists would not make it in but they would not now either.

All this said there would have to be a role for First Nations, Métis and Inuit people as well and a required representation.

We have regional quotas already in the Constitution for the Senate. There is no reason not to add other reuirements like gender balance, the numbers of Aboriginal representatves and even certain backgrounds (eg science, people who have recent experience working min wage, youth representation, naturalized Canadians, labour etc.). The result would be complicated but possible and while complicated we would have a representaiton of the country that we can count on. There is very good reason for this: when Canada was created only rich men with money mattered and the Senate was designed to reflect the country. Rich men had to come from each region. Today, we wnat a society where more than rich men count and so geography cannot be the only quota for an appointed chamber of the people.

I do not pretend that this is easy -- I merely assert that it is much easier than the alternative and that removing this from a partisan PMO is worth it. I do think a process can be found.

Other issues like term limits can be evaluated as well as powers of the chamber. As I say access of information and time to deliberate should be enhanced and the ability to block legislation from an elected chamber should be reduced. The Senate should work to inform the public more than anything else. Its hammer would be an informed public. This change already would serve to remove some of the machinations of partisanship as there would be little power other than deliberation, reports and information. But his is a key function that is lacking in this country (and many others).

In an emergency the chamber could have some powers to meet in camera and to move expeditiously but the emergency would have to be publicly explained.

I hope I have explained this better.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Debater wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

It looks like the intent of this thread is to try and get some NDP types on Babble to go on record saying the continued existence of the Senate wouldn't be all that bad.  Given that Trudeau The Second has a majority and the Senate's survival is in no imminent jeopardy, why would any of the Liberal posters here even bother asking that?  What's the point?

Uh, there's a Conservative Majority in the Senate, Ken.

I assume you have noticed?

It's hard to know at this point how they will react to the new Liberal Government and whether they will try to obstruct it.

I meant Trudeau won a majority in the HoC.  And that, therefore, no legislation to abolish the Senate was going to pass or even be introduced anytime soon.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Unionist wrote:

 

They could start with dismissing some of the worst actors.

How would firing Vin Diesel help?