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Harper Adds 7 More Senators–Biggest Government We’ve Ever Had

web-senate07_jp_1360140cl-3The Conservatives and their followers like to brag about how the Conservatives are small government, non-interventionist government. Before you listen to them, let’s take a look at the facts.

In terms of cabinet size, as in higher profile and higher-paid MPs, the Harper Government has pushed the limit. Armed with a majority, Harper joins Brian Mulroney and Paul Martin as the man running the largest cabinet in Canadian history; composed of 39 members and a cumulative cost of $9 million per year. Add on 30 new MPs and you get $6.4 million in MP salaries. We haven’t even gotten to the pensions or the perks that they will all enjoy courtesy of the tax payers.

When it comes to the senate, Harper repeatedly broke his campaign promise to not appoint senators. He achieved his majority in 2011 and is kicking off 2012 with the addition of 7 more senators. Harper promised senate reform, an expensive reform that would essentially create a second House of Commons and waste our money. The Conservatives claim they believe in small government, let’s compare the costs and size.

Costs Comparison

Year 2006 (Pre-Harper) 2011-2012 (Harper)
Salary Standard $122,700 $132,300
Salary Gov Rep. $195,622 $209,922
Salary Opp Rep $156,500 $168,300
Total Senators 61 104
Total Cost* $7,468,722 $13,872,822
*This cost doesn’t include the salaries of other staff or maintenance costs. Nor does the cost include other additions for certain other of the included senators’ roles and thus this cost will be less than actual.

Stephen Harper added the new senators to get a majority and absolute power in the senate.

Seat Distribution Comparison

  2006 (Pre-Harper) 2011-2012 (Harper)
Conservative 17 60
Liberal 41 41
Independent 2 2
Progressive Conservative 1 1
Total 61 104

Stephen Harper clearly increased the cost of the senate by more than 2% before his reforms and the amount of senators who have been appointed to Canada’s red chamber. His increases are even more notable when compared to his predecessors.

Senate Appointment By Prime Minister

  • Pierre Trudeau, Liberal: 5
  • Brian Mulroney, Progressive Conservative: 15
  • Jean Chretien, Liberal: 26
  • Paul Martin, Liberal: 15
  • Stephen Harper, Conservative: 43

As far as non-interventionist, the Conservative war on crime and copyright amendments bring the government to our living rooms.

It goes to show that the Conservatives have formed the largest and most intrusive government we’ve ever seen. If there is anything that the government should be doing is abolishing the senate, slicing down the number of MPs, getting out of peoples’ lives and cutting MP salaries and pensions.