A muddled Senate

Jeff Jedras notes Stephane Dion’s continued dissection of the Harper government’s Senate reforms, including the exclusion of federal parties from the proposed process. Meanwhile, an informal poll of academics in Alberta and British Columbia finds overwhelming opposition.

Professors contacted in the two provinces agreed by more than a 3-1 margin with the proposition that the reforms, aimed at ensuring senators are elected and limited to nine-year terms, are against their provinces’ interests. The legislation, being debated this week in the House of Commons, “scares me, to be honest,” said University of Calgary political scientist Tom Flanagan, a former senior Harper adviser.

John Geddes considers the massive questions left unanswered.




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A muddled Senate

  1. Can he do this unilaterally?

    • Well he certainly thinks he can.

      We’ll see what the supreme court has to say about that one.

    • You mean, can he force the provinces to hold elections, at their expense, to produce lists of potential nominees to the Senate?  I don’t see how.   The PM is still responsible, in all scenarios proposed, for the nominations.

  2. “…The legislation, being debated this week in the House of Commons, “scares me, to be honest,” said University of Calgary political scientist Tom Flanagan, a former senior Harper adviser…”

    Criticism of Harper by Flanagan is shocking to me.

    You really know you’ve stepped in some deep cow patty when the likes of Tom Flanagan starts making such comments about a Conservative Prime Minister he helped put in power.

    After all, this is pretty well known Liberal terminology, ie “scary” being tied to Harper.

    • I don’t know, Flanagan has always been a loose cannon.

  3. How would you feel if you were the provincial government, spent all this money on electing people to some other jurisdiction–and then the guy who convinced you to do this didn’t even appoint the winner?

    • I’d never even get that far if I were a provincial government.  I’d outright refuse to spend money from the provincial treasury on elections for a federal legislative body.

      It’s like asking the City of Toronto to organize and pay for the next Ontario election.

  4. Some university professors, including a failed political leader, don’t like the idea of voters having a say over the makeup of the Senate. And?

  5. Why would anyone expect more from a bunch of hacks? Senate reform, environmental policy, economic policy…the stench is going to be around for years to come…

  6. Harper Conservatives’ crime bill will download the cost of the increase in prisons onto the provinces.

    The costs for the proposed Senate elections will be borne by the provinces.

    But Sunny Jim Flaherty says the Harper Conservatives will not balance the budget on the backs of the provinces.

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