Forget the Senate -

Forget the Senate

Canadians want PMO reform


A new poll taken during the Harper government’s second prorogation of parliament has revealed some ironic statistics. Despite the Prime Minister’s trumpeting of the need for Senate reform, only 33 per cent of Canadians feel that the body too powerful, whereas 42 per cent think the Prime Minister’s Office itself needs to have its influence checked. Nik Nanos, head of the firm that conducted the study, said prorogation is probably to blame for the focus on the PMO. The poll also found that Canadians think the most under-influential branch of government is the House of Commons, with 20 per cent saying it needed more power and only 13 per cent thinking it had too much.

Globe and Mail

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Forget the Senate

  1. I say get rid of the senate immediately .sober second thought be damned. It is just a place for one p.m. to outdo the next one in SELECTING enough senators to get his way.It is a very POOR way to give them an extra pension for nothing.

  2. first off, "Nik Nanos, head of the firm that conducted the study, said prorogation is probably to blame for the focus on the PMO" I would like to add to this that the G&M has done its utmost to whip up the anti-prorogation crowd (in a highly irrisponsible manner….more on this within what I want to say next)

  3. The above mentioned article did not appear in the opinion section of the G&M but appeared as journalistic input. The distinction is important to remember.

    The headline leading into the article was entitled: "PMO has too much power, poll finds"

    In fact, the opposite of what the headline screams is the case: 49.7% of poll respondents did NOT favour less power for the PMO whereas 41.6 % was in favour of less power for the PMO.

    The 49.7% includes the portion of respondents (40.4%) who thought the power of the PMO to be "just right" thereby not wanting less power for the PMO. Together with the respondents who favoured MORE power for the PMO (9.3%) they make up the total of 49.7% who do NOT favour less power.

    The G&M conveniently forgets to include this middle group who declares the powers to be 'just right", and that is biased reporting, to say the least.

    • Going by that argument, the Harper gov't shouldn't be in power, because over half the voters did NOT favour Harper for the PMO.

      However, a plurality of those surveyed favoured less power.

  4. Canadians managed to recognize the abuse of power all on their own.

    • explain the abuse of power if only the PM has the right to ask for prorogation.

      you mean to say that 'others' did not agree with Harper's decision? That's fair, but elections are held for such evaluations in due course.

      You think the PM should not be able to employ his rights, or that he should have the rights to a valid opinion?

      • I think the PM should be considerate of the House of Commons first and foremost.

      • Avoiding accountability to the House or avoiding confidence votes is abusing the prime minister's constitution right.

        The prime minister annually placing his powers above the power of the House of Commons is no way to run a 'democracy'.

  5. The G&M has a lot of explaining to do:

    why, for instance, should prorogation have been whipped up into a frenzy (and the G&M was certainly in charge of that) without clarifying the wider workings of our political system?

    why, for instance, was senate reform not championed by the G&M when PM Harper brought forward suggestions to such effect, if the act of prorogation was to be understood as "too much power in the hands of the PMO"?

    why are senate appointments not regarded in the same manner as the act of prorogation was to be considered, namely that both are fully within the power of the PMO?

    If in fact the G&M concern was that prorogation was about too much power held in the hands of the PMO, then why not be consistent about these things.

  6. By suggesting to do away with appointing of senators, Mr.Harper was simultaneously suggesting to do away with some of the PMO's power, yet the G&M picks and chooses when power of the PMO should be curtailed: in the case of prorogation, yes; in the case of senate appointments: no way!

    Picking and choosing does not lead to being objective. Nor does it lead to democratic reform. It leads into less democratic reform and the G&M is hard at it.

  7. while you guys watch the hockey game (great fun) I will rant a little more about this selective reporting on selective polling results (I have no access to tv but I do have the hot sun shining above me!)

    If people do not understand our political processes (which institutions have what sort of power) than any polls being conducted in that regard are futile.

    Actually, they are more than futile: such polling results will ultimately skew the understanding of our political system, thereby bringing about more of a democratic deficit.

  8. "whereas 42 per cent think the Prime Minister's Office itself needs to have its influence checked."

    Flapdoodle! I doubt 42% of Canadians know what PMO even stands for. What a shameless push poll.