The Senate’s last stand?

The Windsor Star says if the Senate defeats C-290 it will be another reason to implement the Harper government’s proposed reforms.

Needless to say, senators are appointed and unaccountable — and that is the real issue that the handling of Bill C-290 should be raising. Hopefully, the controversy over the sports betting bill will spur renewed interest in the Commons to back Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s campaign to implement reform in the Senate, long seen as a patronage retreat for party hacks who are overpaid, underworked and answerable to virtually no one…

We trust senators, over the next few days, will come to understand the importance of the sports betting bill to communities like Windsor and eventually endorse it. Even that, however, won’t diminish the need for Senate reform.




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The Senate’s last stand?

  1. I would like to think it’s their last stand….but please don’t tinker with it. Just abolish it.

  2. “Harper’s modest package of proposed changes would do two things.
    First, it would introduce a single, nine-year term for senators…
    Second, it would ask all the provinces to elect a roster of potential
    senators. Those individuals would technically become “Senate nominees”
    who would then be appointed by the prime minister when vacancies
    occurred.”

    Wow, that was some balanced editorial! and some modest proposal; effectively an end run around the constitution…and even then it could be ignored by any future PM anyway. And just how is an elected senate going to be less disputational, less at odds with our already elected other house? Giving it electoral legitimacy will do that, will it?

    Just who is going to kill this bill? Now that wouldn’t be, couldn’t be, conservative senators, largely put there by Harper, could it? He has a hand in manufacturing this scenario, so the logic goes his modest proposals are needed to fix it. The perfect solution for a PM who doesn’t just bend the rules, he just makes sh*t up as he goes along…how sweet is that!

    • Yes. The proposal is in no way modest.

    • ignored by any future PM? it could be ignoed by Harper himself, and given his past history of unnecessary dishonesty there’s a good chance it would be.

  3. “Needless to say, senators are appointed and unaccountable…”

    As demonstrated by Maxime Bernier today on CTV, the entire government is run by the unelected and unaccountable; those elected are simply there to parrot what they are told to say by the Ministry of Prop… er, the PMO.

    • Obviously there are a good number of unelected individuals involved with day to day operation of the partisan side of government…but all of them can, in fact, be dismissed by voters at the next election.

      • True, but they are still appointed, unelected, and not directly accountable. And clearly they, not the MPs, are running the show. That makes them far more dangerous to our democratic process than the Senate.

        • I think we each see what the other is driving at…

          Although maybe you could clarify a few things for me:
          - these folks are actually hired rather than appointed, yes?
          - or to ask another way, are those folks actually civil servants or are they party employees?
          - or paid for out of MPs office allowances?

          In any event, seems like there are some cost savings available.

          Wrt the Senate, I actually think it is basically OK the way it is.

  4. So, a bill, which was passed through the house, by what was essentially a clerical error, now held up by the house of sober second thought – just doing it’s designated job – and dominated by party faithful is cause for reform?

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