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Bold lies, and rediculous fabrications.

Canadian Prime-Minister Stephen Harper was bold enough to appear before a Senate Standing Committee and make a policy statement that was liberally spiced with counter-factual information; that his government could reform the Senate without opening a Constitutional debate.

To be brief, the Right Honourable Mr. Harper has stated that his government could set a limit to Senate terms (limit of eight years, rather than life-time appointments with mandatory retirement) in addition to arranging for future appointments to the Senate being made on the basis of local elections. The second statement is quite feasible: Senators are appointed by the Queen-in-Parliament on the "advice" of the Prime-Minister, and it is quite within the power for the House of Commons to pass legislation limiting the list of Prime-Ministerial "suggestions" to those candidates who had been elected by some procedure. The first statement, however, is blatantly false: the essential nature of the Senate cannot be changed without the amendment of the Constitution, which would require the consent of the House and Senate, and seven out of ten Provinces representing at least 50% of the population of Canada.

Quite frankly, one might need to decide from this appearance whether the Prime-Minister is grossly ignorant of the Canadian Constitution, or a morbidly opportunistic sophist attempting to position himself for a federal election through the emission of incredible promises on the highly-debated issue of Parliamentary reform.

Given Mr. Harper's breadth of experience in the political arena, it would seem injudicious to accuse him of ignorance.

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