What should be done with the Senate? - Macleans.ca

What should be done with the Senate?


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What should be done with the Senate?

  1. Cons are always saying they want smaller, cheaper, more efficient govt…..well, here’s their chance. Abolish the Senate.

  2. Simply abolishing or altering the Senate will change nothing except the cost of government. We will be served in better fashion only by ensuring the parliament and parliamentarians function in accountable democratic manner vs. party loyalty lockstep. I would like to see Macleans reporting on “Reforming Responsible Government” by Peter Aucoin, et al., and Helen Forsey’s “Eugene Forsey: Canada’s Maverick Sage”.

    • The Senate is the appendix of the Canadian body politic. It’s a $60M -$100M per year source of continuing pain and embarrassment. Meaningful reform is an illusion at best and a black hole at worst. And business-as-usual is no longer tolerable. Do away with it, pocket the savings and give this over-governed, under-led country a break.

  3. Make the Senate as the reform proposed so many years ago:

    • I’d add to that a requirement that no political party affiliation is allowed in future senators, to eliminate the risk of any political party “stacking the deck”.

      The senate’s decisions USED TO BE sound, based on facts…now it’s far too obvious that they’re politically controlled, politically motivated, and not in the best interests of Canadians, or Canada.

      It’s not like Emperor Harperius Mandatorius Minimus cares what they say anyway…he has, is, and will do whatever he damned well please, and completely without regard to the desires or needs of the majority of Canadians.

      • Don’t like it when the shoe is on the other foot?

      • Since at least Trudeau’s time the senate has been a pork barrel.
        It would be difficult to find capable people to run for senate that have no affiliation to a political party since most people with an interest in politics belong to one party or the other. But I agree senators must run as independents and not as a slate.

        • Wouldn’t that be great, to have people running on actual issues, instead of platforms? They’d have to actually make their case, based on reason, logic, and factual information, rather than solely on whether they wear a red shirt or a blue shirt…

  4. The problems with the senate are these: Currently, it is populated with too many “yes men” who were “appointed” by “conservatives” in order to make votes go the way of the “ruling” political party and against the will of the majority of Canadians.

    The second is that they are “appointed” in the first place, as the citizens of Canada have no say over this body any longer. In the past it wasn’t such a concern, as senators took their jobs seriously, and weighed the facts before coming to any firm determination on a topic they were asked to investigate. Today, the conclusions and the methods to get there are all set in advance, and the “follow the party line” mentality causes all discussions to follow the predetermined path before the road has even been discussed with the people who will be expected to walk it…and pay for it…and suffer because of it.

    The 2002 Canadian Senate Report was a prime example of a fair, honest, scientifically and intelligently directed investigation into a topic which needed a solution. The facts were heard, in some cases given slightly more weight than required (to suit political biases), but overall, the report was honest, and based on common sense. (Google “2002 Canadian Senate Report” and read it for yourself.)

    Today? No Canadian in their right mind wouldn’t second-guess anything that the senate puts forth, because we all KNOW they’re controlled, and they’re going to tell us whatever “their controllers” want us to believe.

    This needs to end. We need a REPRESENTATIVE government, and this necessarily includes HONEST politicians, HONEST senators, HONEST MPs and MPPs…and they have to stop working for whoever or whatever they have been working for, and start working for Canadians, and Canada again.

    If that doesn’t happen soon, there won’t be a Canada to work for. They’ll just have to get their paycheques from the United Nations.

    • Let us know when you find all those saints, because we’ve never had them before and there’s not much liklihood we’ll have them in future.

  5. The choices in the vote are limited. Obviously the Senate cannot be left as the ineffective body that it is. At the very least it should be a vehicle to examine bills and their effect on the population, environment and the sovereign state of Canada. They should examine and discuss the bills and disclose in a forthright manner the nature and contents of the Bill to be passed. In the partisan way in which the Senate is appointed, an intelligent, impartial review of the Bill is impossible. Secondly being appointed to the Senate is not related to knowledge or expertise, but merely a pat on the back and a reward for serving the political party well. An elected chamber comes with its own problems. Elections will take the shape of the way in which the House is elected. He or the party with the most cash in the war chest wins. Large corporations, lobbyists and individuals will have another vehicle in which to influence the governing of the country. I maintain that publicly funded elections with each party given the same amount of money to campaign with would even up the playing field (and perhaps go a long way in eliminating “dirty” campaigns). If the Senate is elected would we gravitate to the U.S. system and eventually elect the Prime Minister independently? Would we chose to become a republic? These are questions that must be asked when considering an elected Chamber. Finally to abolish it out of hand is somewhat of a knee jerk reaction. I realize that it would take a tremendous effort of political will to reform the Senate but I think that this could be in Canada’s best interests. It should be a body that can act independently and, hopefully, in times of majority governments place controls on the government’s unbridled disregard for the people, the environment and our sovereign nation through legislation that gives more rights to corporations and foreign nations than it does to its own citizens.

  6. BabyJane well said. We need to continue with our checks and balances but we need to use them as well. I like your thought process in regards to party campaigns with a strict budget and not influenced by out side money.