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Gary Doer: a good pick for US Ambassador, but an obvious Harper attempt to deflect yesterday's patronage binge

So, I’m going to get on here today and actually give Harper credit for picking Gary Doer, the just-resigned ex-NDP premier of Manitoba, to be the new ambassador to the US. He’s someone who’ll be more ideologically in tune with President Obama then current Canadian ambassador Michael Wilson is (who probably is feeling a bit uncomfortable down there after Conservative officials leaked to the US press about  “Obama doesn’t really believe in vetoing Free trade” stuff that occurred in the Democratic primaries and helped contribute to an Obama defeat in Ohio), and since he’s an ex-premier, he’ll probably be used to try and go at this “Buy American” legislation that’s hurting the provinces.

However, it seems almost obvious that Harper picked Gary Doer today for another ulterior motive – to try and deflect criticism from his patronage binge yesterday. I think he’s sorely mistaken if he thinks that will somehow inoculate him from criticism (which even the Sun chain of newspapers is doing today, for example). Doer’s pick will highlight even more all the Conservative hacks he appointed yesterday, and get people asking why he couldn’t have done the same sort of picks for the Senate as he did for Doer – with the answer being rather obvious. Harper wanted to reward his cronies for their loyalty to him, ( edit: and to do his bidding in the Senate – rather then make it a sober chamber of second thought, he wants to ensure his legislation is rubber-stamped)

On a related note, you’ll notice that a lot of people are highlighting that Harper is now on record for having appointed 27 of his cronies to the Senate in less then a calendar year. What I didn’t realize until today was; he broke a 92 year old record; the most prior to Harper by any Canadian PM was Robert Borden, who picked 26 in 1917. So, one non-partisan pick for US ambassador is hardly going to deflect attention from that.

Harper has thus become “the patronage King” of Canadian PM’s (photo courtesy of Gritgirl, who’s been quite busy in the last day):

All Hail The Canadian Patronage King!!!

All Hail The Canadian Patronage King!!!

8 comments to Gary Doer: a good pick for US Ambassador, but an obvious Harper attempt to deflect yesterday’s patronage binge

  • DCR

    Anyone who thinks that Harper should leave the Senate seats open for the Liberals to fill in the future is out to lunch. I lean towards the Conservative, as a voter. However that doesn’t mean I want ALL Conservative Senators. Some of you would have the entire Senate Liberal. That amounts to an appointed dictatorship. It is good to support your own team, but let us not forget about democracy in the mean time. Sheesh!

  • Geordie Tom

    The LPC has been demonising Harper for years. Anybody who would be swayed by this has already been.It seems to me that the way to regain power is to do it on policy initiatives, not by repeated name-calling. Harper can do what he wants. Most people don’t care. They believe that whoever is in power will do the same thing.

  • So the alternative would have been for him to leave those seats empty and wait for the Liberals to get back into power and fill them with their cronies instead?

    Yeah, that would have been ever so much smarter. I wonder why he didn’t do that. Hmmmmm…

  • AnnieS

    Stephen Harper is an empty man, a caricature, a manipulater, a joke, a man of no ethics, no honesty, no pride. He thinks if he gets his picture taken with a soldier it makes him strong and capable. He thinks if he chooses a decent man and gets his picture taken with him it makes him decent. Or perhaps he thinks it deflect Canadian’s attention from the nauseating senate story. Gary Doer was not chosen because Stephen Harper thinks it will be good for Canadians (which it probably will), he was chosen because Stephen Harper thinks it will be good for Stephen Harper.

  • Christian

    Scott, do you really believe harper thinks that little of Canadians? Is he really that delusional?

    And Joanne, way to tow the party line. “But but but, the Liberals did it too!!” Did you follow Scott’s second link? Here is part of what it says-

    “Despite the fine work of many individual senators, the upper house remains a dumping ground for the favoured cronies of the prime minister.

    But that was then and this is now, and Harper seems to have no problem making sure that “dumping ground” is filled with his friends. Among yesterday’s appointees are Harper’s former communications aide, his election campaign chair, and the president of the Conservative Party of Canada.”

    Instead of deflecting, Joanne, why not hold your leader accountable?

  • Joanne, his party isn’t in power…yours is. If it was wrong for the Libs to do it, its wrong for the Cons to do it. Suck it up and stop trying to excuse the blatant hypocrisy.

  • So how do you feel about rewarding cronies? Should it be stopped? Do you think your party needs to address that problem?

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