Addition by subtraction

While the government pursues a larger House and a reformed Senate, former MP Reginald Stackhouse argues we need neither.

In a time when cutting a gargantuan deficit has to be a government priority, reducing the cost of the Commons should surely come ahead of cutting health care – especially when its work could be done better by fewer rather than more MPs. Parliament – as the name itself indicates – should primarily be a place for debate, and that purpose could be fulfilled by a reduced membership better than by an increased one. But is it likely to happen? Not when a government proposes something as senseless as preserving the Senate.