Monday, May 23, 2011

Tory Senate Reform Proposal Is A Sham

"We can do it by appointing elected senators,” says Jason Kenny, but if senate candidates still, once elected, must be appointed, then the PM can ignore the result of any plebiscite where the result goes against him.  Think what is likely to happen if a candidate with known NDP connections were to run and win.  What assurance would they have that the Harper government would not simply pass them over?

And, that being the case, why would anyone not onside with the Harper government even choose to run? 

Although perhaps that is the point.


CK said...

Good point.

Also, I think Harper is counting on another trend here. Voter apathy. Voter turn out at all levels is abysmally low. Imagine for provincial senate elections?

A Eliz. said...

I don't think Harper is counting on the may backfire. That will be more American and expensive

crf said...

The House of Commons is the democratically representative body.

The Senate best serves the needs of Canada by trying to be a body of sober second thought.

Trying to make the Senate into an elected body would encourage this less representative institution to move into a far more politicized and partisan situation, much like the US Senate.

Having an elected Senate would seem to make it more acceptable for one party to use it to thwart the will of the House.

What would be good is too keep the Senate appointed as it is, but limit its ability to reject bills. For example, it may only stop legislation for certain time period. Or the government may reconsider rejected legislation only a certain number of times before its passage may be forced by a vote in the house, bypassing the Senate.

All of this requires changes in the constitution, I think.

Koby said...

The bigger provinces do not like the current set up and are not about to lend legitimacy to such a plan by holding elections. If one province opts ought the whole plan comes to naught and the problems do not end there.

Another problem with proceeding thusly is that current senators are free to serve until the age of 75. As a result, even if all the provinces were on side such actions could either transform an unelected political body with no real power into a largely unelected political body with real political power or commit Canadians to the farcical and expensive act of electing people to office who hold no real power. Always content to play the Tin Man and Lion to Conservatives scarecrow, the Liberals remain largely mum on the subject.

sassy said...

JK continues to have bad taste in mouth, what else is new.