Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Venerable institutions with lifetime appointments

It's the Christmas season, my marking is done for the term, and I'm really not all that engaged with the news cycle, hence the paucity of posts here. This post serves two purposes - one personal and one political.

First, for those who read this blog for my keen political insights, there is a piece in today's Globe indicating that Harper's proposed Senate reforms are popular with voters. So are kittens and puppies, but you don't see them making the top 10 list for voter priorities. I will eventually get around to a more detailed post on this, but essentially I see this is a rather half-baked sop to the old Triple-E Senate proposals of the early Reform Party days. However, it lacks full implementation of even a single one of the "E"'s, with no change in seat distribution, no mandatory implementation of the referendum results, and no guarantee that this will make the Senate a more effective body. It's also a complete cop-out as far as Parliamentary reform goes, since the House of Commons is in much more dire need of an overhaul, and ideally the two Houses should be revamped as part of a package deal. Frankly, that's the only way that you have a hope of getting the provincial governments on side. By and large, I don't think that voters will care one bit whether this proposal goes through or not.

And speaking of venerable institutions where members get lifetime appointments, I am extremely happy to report that I've taken one major step in that direction. Of course, by the time I'm in my fifties, lifetime tenure may have gone the way of the dodo in Canada, but for the time being, I'm now on that track. The fine folks at the University of Guelph have decided to hire me in their history department, and so I'm heading back to Ontario next summer. It's a happy Christmas indeed in our household.

I may or may not have more to post over the holiday season, but if I don't, I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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At 1:17 pm, Blogger Al B Here said...

Congratulations on the U of Guelph position! Some friends of mine went to university there (granted, for sciences), but I always found it to be a nice little town when I visited.

At 1:22 pm, Anonymous Maurice said...

Congratulation on the job at Guelph! But won't you miss your little jaunts to Moncton? ;-P

On the subject of parliamentary reform, do you envision a form of proportional representation as part of the solution? I don't see that as the magic bullet, but as you know, the existing FPTP system is one I despise. As for the Senate, which I think we should have in some form or another, I agree that Harper's proposal falls short of achieving anything significant.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

At 7:59 pm, Blogger kasie said...

well congratulations! I just got back from my holidays and read the news. Of course, I am quite obviously partial to the world of Sackville, but I have head good things about Guelph. I am very glad to hear that someone had the smarts to hire you on full time.

When will you be heading out of the maritimes? I am hoping to return to the Sack for the summer.


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