Ottawa

Do we want the Senate defeating bills passed by the House?

Greg Fingas considers the ramifications of the Senate (potentially) defeating the sports betting bill.

It’s been glaringly obvious to those of us paying attention that the Cons have set up plenty of means to keep dictating the terms of Canadian politics from beyond the political grave – with the most obvious being their continued stacking of the Senate which will put at least a formal roadblock in the way of any future government for many years to come.

As a result, any opposition party with an ounce of foresight would know better than to send the message that unelected Senators should consider themselves free to overrule elected Members of Parliament – particularly when a bill has been passed unanimously among the representatives chosen by Canadian voters.

Depending on the eventual fate of Senate reform, it could take two consecutive election victories by either the New Democrats or Liberals to replace the Conservative majority in the Senate. And even—especially?—if the Senate moves toward some kind of elected body, a future showdown between it and a sitting government should be up for consideration now. (The NDP seems already, if quietly, to be thinking about this.)