Friday, September 26, 2014

About the Senate

Preston Manning, former leader of the Reform Party, introduced the notion of a Senate that is equal, effective and elected.  It became commonly known as a Triple E Senate if it ever became law.  To make it legal would require an agreement within the countries provinces and territories.  That is not likely to ever happen.  It would require an amendment to Canada's Constitution and the public is not keen on any amendments to the constitution.

The Senate as it is and how it performs is not pleasing to Canadian voters.  The are in the news in a very bad way and an embarrassment to the Prime Minister and his government.  The are some interesting observations around the Senate.  The Triple E Senate was a proposal initiated by Preston Manning.  Stephen Harper and Preston Manning are not the best of friends so Harper is not likely to push for a Triple E Senate.  On the other hand, PM Harper has always believed the senate should be elected to fixed terms, but that has never materialized since he became Prime Minister in 2006.  More interesting is the fact that Harper, against his own position, has been appointing Senators to gain control of the Senate.  You have to wonder about that position taken by the Prime Minister since he has appointed 59 Senators until he came to his senses from public pressure and scandals surrounding Senators he appointed.

Given the circumstances the public has forced the Prime Minister into the only and best position he can take regarding the Senate and that is to simple not appoint any more Senators.  There is Constitutional provisions for the Prime Minister to appoint Senators and the Prime Minister has not appointed any Senators since 2013.  Conversely, I don't believe anyone can force him to appoint Senators.  If successive Prime Ministers refused to appoint Senators then the Senate would eventually be non-existent.  Further, it would be the only way to apply pressure on the provinces and Territories to agree on a Triple E Senate.  Expect this to be an election issue at the next federal election.