The Supreme Court of Canada's ruling on the Senate Reform questions that Harper put to them last year came out today. The ruling itself is not terribly surprising, but what is more interesting is Harper's reaction.
Harper said he had no option left after the high court concluded that no major change can be made to the much-maligned Senate without a constitutional amendment supported by most or all the provinces.
That's a politically risky and potentially divisive route that Harper has no intention of taking.
"We know that there is no consensus among the provinces on reform, no consensus on abolition and no desire of anyone to reopen the Constitution and have a bunch of constitutional negotiations," a defeated-sounding Harper told a business audience at an event in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.So, Harper isn't a big enough leader to even attempt to bring the provinces together and try to guide them to a consensus on this matter?
There is only one kind of person who will not attempt to foster consensus among their peers at a moment like this: an authoritarian bully who is afraid to face any kind of dissent.
Harper has never brought all of the premiers together for a conference since coming to power in 2006. He doesn't think he has to ... and more to the point, he obviously doesn't have it in him to even consider the prospect of having to negotiate with the provinces to move things forward.
I don't think the provinces are going to agree with Harper on Senate Reform anyhow for one simple reason - what Harper wants to do to the Senate would create a situation that is even worse for Canada than the current mess.
Even more horrifying to Harper's authoritarian sensibilities is the idea that he might have to negotiate with Quebec - a province which he has snubbed at every turn since 2006 and whose voters have shown exactly zero inclination to even grant him the time of day.