Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Only Reformed Senate Is A Dead Senate

Any of the changes to the upper chamber proposed by Stephen Harper thus far amount to an attempt to shift power from Central Canada to the West without having to shift the requisite bodies out West to force a redistribution of power in the HOC, which is based more or less on rep. by pop.

On the political level, an NEP in reverse, in other words.

Ontario and Quebec MPs of all stripes should oppose any such changs. Abolition should be the only reform acceptable to Central Canada.

(But of course talk of Senate reform at this point is simply a slice of red meat waved before the Tory base. It isn't like Harper is serious about pushing Senate reform in the face of a looming recession and looming deficits. But if he ever got serious about it, that's what I would say.)


Hishighness said...

I think the Senate could be used in a meaningful way. But we would need a serious overhaul of it and how it works with the House, not the current formula. I like that the Senate has regional balance, and I like the idea of an elected Senate, but I don't like that the Senate has almost equal power to the House. (There are a few exceptions, Senators can't propose money bills and if the Government loses a vote in the Senate they don't have to resign.)

Ti-Guy said...

John Ralston Saul on Canada:

"It is the second- or third-oldest continuous democracy in the world. It's the second-oldest continuous federation in the world and it's the world's oldest continuous democratic federation. Canada became a democracy in 1848 and we're pretty well the only one who got through the 1850s without it falling apart and going into a dictatorship."

Therefore, the country has never worked and needs to be reformed.

Koby said...

I could not agree more. An elected senate particularly an American style Triple E senate is an intellectual abortion.

Anonymous said...

I think that Senate abolition might be a realistic possibility down the road (obviously, such a radical change would not happen overnight). Harper has explicitly stated that he supports abolition if his reforms don't succeed (and clearly they won't). The NDP, obviously, is strongly in favour of abolition. The Bloc might support abolition. The Liberals would probably oppose it but there might be some appetite within the party for such a change.

Paul S said...

Abolition of the Senate would be foolishness. It's present dysfunctional status contributes few, if any benefits to Canadians. Revising it is overdue

"John Ralston Saul on Canada . . ." - ti-guy

Oh please ti-guy, stick to rolling around in the pig manure like you always do.

Ti-Guy said...

Oh please ti-guy, stick to rolling around in the pig manure like you always do.

Oooh...touched a nerve. Getting a little vicious, don't you think, princess? What's brought on the dyspepsia? Are the police closing in on your internet habits?