The Senate can be abolished only with the consent of all provinces. This is highly( Quebec will not agree). Reforming the Senate would require the consent of at least 7 provinces, representing at least 50%+ of the population and this is possible. The problem is to get the provinces to agree on the type of reform and there are as many "types' as there are provinces. Some may want the Triple "E"...Elected, Equal and Effective. Some like Hall of Saskatchewan want abolition; some may want the provinces to chose them as in Germany; others may want something else ( this is after all Canada).
Over the years the Senate has lost much of its importance and usefulness and has become "the choicest plum in the patronage basket". It has become the sinecure for retired, spent defeated candidates ( Harper's first appointment was, Fortier. one such defeated candidate); for bagmen (like present House leader Housakos); and for other friends and hangers-on ( Duffy and Wallin, TV personalities; Brazeau, off-reserve 'native' leader etc. who would be useful in selling the party and raising funds. All Prime Ministers have done this. Harper is just the latest and most blatant ( perhaps his way of getting Senate abolition).
Harper's announcement of a moratorium is an attempt to confuse/deceive. He has already made 59 appointments and there are 22 vacancies. The Constitution states that senators "Shall" be appointed, not " may or may not"; " can or cannot". This latest gambit by Harper is a desperate attempt to deflect attention from Duffy et al. and the incompetence and lack of judgement of the PMO and Harper himself, not only in the appointments but in the handling of the aftermath. Of course, they would like to change and control the "issues" for the upcoming election( Oct.19, 2015). The economy is tanking. The unemployment rate is rising. The trade deficit is increasing; the dollar is at its lowest since 2004; our international reputation on Rights, climate change is damaged; economic growth is 1.5% and exports is down 4.5%.
It is written in the Talmud, that " it is the responsibility of the leader, not to tell the people what they cannot hear". In other words, do not confuse or deceive or mislead the people.
Harper should take note.