Meanwhile in Manitoba -

Meanwhile in Manitoba


An all-party committee of MLAs has submitted a report on Senate reform, in which they recommend dividing the province into six regions and holding an election in each. The winner of each vote (according to a first-past-the-post method) will be put on a list to be forwarded to the prime minister.

Anyway, substantively, this strikes me as an incredibly bad idea. If we’re going to elect the Senate, it should be done along different principles of representation than for the House of Commons, such as PR. Otherwise all you’re doing is adding, to what is currently a de facto unicameral system, an elected upper chamber with virtually all of the powers of the House of Commons, where the members are elected by a constituency in what amounts to a one-time vote, until they retire at 75. This is a recipe for utter chaos.

Oh, but apparently the report also states that the Manitoba legislature has no problems with the federal government’s desire to implement 8-year term limits for the Senate. Well gee, thanks guys. I’m sure the members of the Senate are A-OK with how Manitoba elects its MLAs as well. But maybe they should strike an all-party committee of Senators just to be sure. Maybe they’ll surprise us and recommend that the Manitoba legislature be filled with the first 57 names from the Teulon phone book. How fun would that be!

What’s that you say? What business is it of Senators? Exactly. Similarly, what possible business is it of the MLAs of Manitoba how the Parliament of Canada staffs itself?

Honest to god this sounds appalling, both in procedure and in result. Does anyone know where we can find a copy of the report? I’ve poked around online and can’t find it anywhere… it can’t possibly be as idiotic as the news report makes it sound.


Meanwhile in Manitoba

  1. First Manitoba seat opens up in 2013. It'll be awhile before this is tested as I doubt the current crop of Red Chamber Manitobans have any intention of going anywhere

  2. I think the Teulon phone book only has 45 names in it.

    • Bummer. Lose your gold-plated pension for life, all because you wanted an unlisted number. D'oh!

    • Okay Teulon AND Inwood

  3. 2010 in the Senate: Year of the Indies. Want some legislation passed? Better be nice to Anne Cools.

  4. Good for Manitoba. The late Sen. Gil Molgat worked hard on Senate reform long ago.

    Potter: if you don't live in Manitoba, what do you care if they elect Senators?

  5. We need reform in the House of Commons. Let's have fair elections through some form of proportional representation.

    Boycott unfair elections!

  6. PR is a great idea for the senate. It can't be any worse.

    • I would like to see senators in Canada elected along the lines of the Australian senate: using the single transferrable vote (STV) system. That's what the federal government has proposed, and while I'm not normally their biggest fan I nonetheless think that they're on the money in using STV for senate elections. Not only is it proportional, but it allows for simple province-wide senate elections.

  7. And isn't Harper on record as saying he'd love to appoint Senators who have been elected in their home province? So why all of a sudden are we poo-pooing a province for looking into how to make that happen? Am I missing something, Andrew?