The case for leaving as is

Matthew P. Harrington argues against the currently proposed Senate reforms.

At present, the Senate is regarded as a deferential body, confining itself largely to amending or revising legislation passed by the Commons, largely because senators lack democratic legitimacy.

Once members of the Senate are themselves elected, however, there is little justification for their continued deference to the House. After all, a senator elected by an entire province arguably has a stronger mandate to govern than members of the Commons, who are sent to Ottawa by relatively small segments of the electorate. This would create increased opportunity for gridlock as members of the Senate and Commons disagree over legislation.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall wonders about party discipline in an elected Senate. B.C. Premier Christy Clark says the Senate should be abolished, but if not, her province will need more seats.




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