With Stephen Harper set to fill 18 vacant Senate seats, a great deal of musing on who, exactly, Harper will appoint.
In today's Globe and Mail, Lawrence Martin has made an interesting suggestion. Among other such conservative luminaries as Mike Harris and Kim Campbell, Harper may appoint the recently-resigned leader of the Action Democratique du Quebec, Mario Dumont:
"The leader of Quebec's conservative party, the Action Démocratique du Québec, has just stepped down. Mr. Harper needs allies from Quebec, and Mr. Dumont knows the terrain. The PM might even elevate him to a cabinet perch."At face value, it seems like a worthwhile move.
After Dumont's ascension to the role of Opposition Leader in Quebec's National Assembly, many observers were looking toward a Harper/Dumont tandem as a modern day incarnation of the John Diefenbaker/Maurice Duplessis collaboration that gave Diefenbaker one of the most dominant majority governments in Canadian history.
Instead, Dumont's ADQ was decimated at the polls less than a year later. By appointing him to the Senate -- and possibly even cabinet -- Harper could still salvage something out of the once-promising association with Dumont.
Of course, there's also a downside to such a move. Appointing Dumont to the Senate would make it more difficult for Dumont to ever seek a seat in Parliament -- something that Dumont's previous individual electoral successes demonstrate he is more than capable of doing.
In Dumont, Harper could find what Michael Fortier has decisively failed to deliver: a successful Quebec lieutenant.