I’m presuming that Harper will use the “stability” argument as one of his reasons for re-appointing 2 Conservative Senators who had resigned and lost in the general election and appointing a defeated Cabinet Minister in that same election to the Senate. In the case of Larry Smith, who infamously claimed he was making a lot of personal and financial sacrifices to be a Senator, Harper can claim he’s rescuing Smith from extreme financial hardship and poverty.
He certainly can’t claim he appointed these folks to do “Senate reform” – not with a straight face anyhow. If you want the Senate reformed and elected, you need to do so with the approval of 7 provinces who have 50% of the population – Section 42 of the Canadian Constitution says so. Harper has his “stable majority”, yet he refuses to try to do his Senate reform the hard way – or the legal way. His piecemeal approach – if it goes too far – will be immediately challenged in court and constitutionally struck down. I suspect Harper knows this, but doesn’t care – like every other past Prime Minister has discovered, the Senate has become a convenient place for him to use to reward supporters with – even ones the voters rejected (Fabian Manning -the Conservative Senator from Newfoundland, has now been rejected twice by Newfoundlanders, and appointed to the Senate twice).
Harper has lumped this in with his other post-election move which was to immediately back off on his balance the Budget moves – do it early so Canadians forget about it in four years. It will be interesting to see how many of these stunts he does the next four years with a majority, and whether he has calculated rightly or wrongly that Canadians have short memories regarding his actions.