Five more for the Senate

by Aaron Wherry

The Prime Minister has appointed five new senators—official biographies are here.

Doug Black won a Senate vote in Alberta last year (and then found himself in some controversy over expenses). Denise Batters is the wife of the late Dave Batters, a former Conservative MP who committed suicide in 2009. David Wells has some history with the Conservatives and Victor Oh has some history with the Prime Minister.




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Five more for the Senate

  1. I am in favour of making the Senate an elected one. PM Harper would like to implement the same. Since he cannot find enough support for implementing an elected Senate, he will do what is the only avenue available now; to appoint the Senators. And I think PM Harper appointed a good bunch.

    • I agree – I just posted too – as I for the life of me can’t figure out why more Premiers don’t take him up on the offer? – we have a few elected ones in now and that is a good start but we could have so many more and increase our democratic muscles as it were :)

      • I would submit the reason why more Premiers do not take up Harper on the offer is because Harper never offered to PAY for those senate elections. Individual provinces must carry the costs to “elect” a Senator. Given how generally “useful” Senators are – it is in my view a waste of Provincial tax dollars to fund these elections.

        Personally I think an elected Senate is the only thing worse then our current appointed senate.

        I am all for getting rid if it, but it will never happen. Over represented Provinces would not agree.

        • I can’t see the price as a serious stumbling block – I don’t think so – try again

          • What is your theory ?

      • As pointed out, cost, plus premiers not wanting to get behind an idea which in its workable form is a steaming pile of crap and isn’t much better if you could actually alter the constitution to properly implement it.

  2. I too support an Elected Senate !!! and am very glad that Harper keeps his word and appoints the ones that are elected. This and term limits could revolutionize our Upper House and I just don’t get why the Premiers won’t go along??? Does anyone out there have any ideas as you would think that more representation from that region would only help the Premier – are they holding out for some goodie as they always do or what?

    • Well. Alberta just voted in a winner. I hope they keep an eye on his expense claims.

    • Agreed. I think the Preems don’t typically go along with the idea because they don’t want anybody else with democratic legitimacy to be representing the province at the federal level.

  3. PMs need a new, less expensive way to reward loyal footsoldiers. Scrap the senate.

  4. An elected senate makes no sense in our current system. At the moment, unelected senators know where they stand. They will not try to overturn House of Commons’ bills. Once elected, senators will feel they have the legitimacy to overturn any proposed legislation. Try to imagine the current senate with an NDP or liberal government or the reverse. This is a recipe for gridlock like they have in the US. Another problem is the geographical representation in the senate, e.g., PEI has 4 senators, Saskatchewan has 5, BC has 6, etc. There is no intelligent thinking behind Harper’s senate proposals; it is just another one of those ideas that is meant to appeal to the general public like the GST reduction but that does not make a lot of sense when you put in the overall context or look at other options.

    • And Harper’s legislation doesn’t obligate him to appoint candidates that win elections, so it is completely meaningless.

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