A Senate if we must, but must we have a Senate?


It is obviously noteworthy that the Canadian public largely supports Stephen Harper’s proposed reforms to the Senate, but when the options are put side-by-side, the Canadian public is still relatively split.

Which of these statements comes closest to your own point of view?

Canada does not need a Senate, all legislation should be reviewed and authorized by the House of Commons 36%
Canada needs a Senate, but Canadians should be allowed to take part in the process to choose senators 40%
Canada needs a Senate, and the current guidelines that call for appointed senators should not be modified 5%
Not sure 19%

For that matter, as many Canadians support Stephen Harper’s calls for term limits and elections (70% and 72%) as support Jack Layton’s call for a national referendum (71%).


A Senate if we must, but must we have a Senate?

  1. Entirely irrelevant without regional data. For example, the notion that a majority of voters in Ontario and Quebec could do away with Senate representation from New Brunswick flies in the face of why the institution was established in the first place. A majority of Canadians may support doing away with Catholic schools in Ontario or French schools in Nova Scotia. But we have a constitution which protects them. (thankfully)

  2. How many of the people polled actually know what the Senate does? And no, not just the distortions and urban myths. I’m guessing vanishingly few, which makes the polling data as useful as polling the general public whether we should travel to Alpha Centauri using warp drive or hyperdrive.

  3. For our next survey – Canadian eating habits. Which statement do you agree with?

    Canadians shouldn’t have to eat brussel sprouts.
    Canadians should be allowed to put butter on their brussell sprouts.
    Canadians should eat their brussell sprouts as they are.
    I’m not sure, politics is so confusing!

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