Dream no little dream - Macleans.ca

Dream no little dream

The New Democrats want to defund the Senate


The New Democrats have tabled a simple motion for debate tomorrow.

“That all funding should cease to be provided to the Senate beginning on July 1, 2013.”

If passed, this could be part of the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill. The lawn, for instance, could be used for a giant yard sale of the Senate’s chairs, desks and art work. Or, if not outright abolition, the Senate could continue on a purely volunteer basis.

Alas, it is probably not so simple—though the Paul wonders if the Prime Minister is in the mood for a bold gesture.

The New Democrats called on the House to support abolishing the Senate in March—the Conservatives and Liberals voted to keep it—and the New Democrats have a long history, going back to JS Woodsworth, of attempting to defund the Senate.


Dream no little dream

  1. Gawd I’d vote for that if I had the chance!

  2. I don’t think Harper will want the optics to be that the NDP resolved his Senate problems. I think they’re just calling his bluff. More pain for Harper. I hope the Liberals bring out a motion to stop prime ministerial chiefs of staff from acting like common bagmen.

    • Except it does absolutely nothing to resolve the senate problems. If anything it makes it worse, because now you’ve got a bunch of people whose only incentive to be there is to use the considerable amount of power that they have.

      Does the NDP really want a senate that has not only the freedom, but significant incentive to introduce bills that are friendly to the oil-lobby while this CPC government is in power? I mean, at least the government has to worry about getting re-elected, so they can’t go too far with what they introduce, but the senate could introduce some really damaging bills without worrying about the consequences.

      And that’s assuming the CPC doesn’t just call the NDP bluff and pass the thing. It’ll be immediately court challenged, of course, and if the CPC doesn’t mount a defense, it’ll fail. Now the CPC has “Muclair after not telling us about a bribe he was offered, introduced a bill the courts found to be completely illegal. Can we really trust the NDP?”

      • I’m with Goodale: I think the NDP are pulling a stunt with this motion. And I have read your opinions on the Senate and I agree: I don’t see a need to throw the baby out with the bathwater (gawd I love old expressions). I rather like the Senate; we just need to appoint better people and ensure there are a few rules that are followed. I like saying if they don’t show up, they don’t get paid. And I believe we have benefitted from that sober second thought many times in our history, and will again.

        • ‘Permanent layoff’ now.

        • The Senate does have some good people in it, but it also has a long line of bagmen, frauds, campaign insiders, and other assorted scum. So long as the Conservatives and the Liberals insist on appointing amoral and immoral scumbags to the upper chamber, we will continue to have problems like Duffy, Brazeau, Wallin, Harb, etc., etc. No number of minor rule changes will completely remove the stain.

          Agreed that the NDP motion is simply theatre. It would be funny if enough Conservatives supported it for it to pass. The NDP needs to be careful of what it wishes for. An upper chamber completely funded by outside monies? No thanks. Better that these unabashed amoral scum work for Harper than for ExxonMobil. Slightly better. Marginally better.

  3. Abolishing the Senate is a legitimate point of view, but this motion is disingenuous nonsense.Until such time as the Constitution is amended to abolish the Senate, we literally need one in order to enact laws.

  4. Jeez, imagine a bunch of homeless Senators wandering around the Hill, lost and forlorn, the living dead, like a bunch of political zombies.