Saturday, May 15, 2010

Potential Liberal Policy: Realistic Senate Reform

In light of the upcoming Liberal Policy Convention in Vancouver I will be posting potential policy proposals for criticism. All comments are welcome and encouraged.

POLICY RESOLUTION – Realistic Senate Reform

WHEREAS the Liberal Party recognizes the importance of the Senate in Canada as a regionally representative institution and a body of sober second thought;

WHEREAS the Senate is unable to adequately fulfill its functions of reviewing legislation and representing the regions of Canada if its members are politically appointed;

WHEREAS the appointment of Senators by the Prime Minister is enshrined in the Constitution and it is recognized that any constitutional change requires negotiations that are too extensive and complex at this time;

WHEREAS legislation concerning procedures involving the appointment of senators over time can influence parliamentary convention and can act to prevent partisan Senate appointments;

WHEREAS appointments of Senators based on the results of elections do nothing to solve the problems of partisanship and lack of experience, and would add problems concerning the supremacy of the House of Commons;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party encourage the Government of Canada to legislate procedures for a committee of provincial representatives and select nonpartisan experts to advise the Prime Minister for Senate appointments based on regional representation and an individual’s merits.


Ian said...

Wow, it's so tame and unoriginal. I don't even think it can be called senate reform. Even Britain is looking at moving toward an elected House of Lords - and opting for proportional representation at that. This is the rice cake of policy suggestions and boring ideas like this will further doom the Liberal party. Let's see some originality or risk! Find something divisive. said...

Why do you think Britian is moving to an elected upper house? Why do you think Canada should have an elected Senate (I assume it is a probable position you hold)? What changed between 1867 and today?

Well to answer my own question, the hegemonic influence of the United States is what has changed, and whether Canadians acknowledge it or not the reason they want radical change is because of the American influence in our society and values.

I dare only prove my case by asking with the above proposed Senate Reform why should an elected Senate be preferred over an appointed one? And I'm sure some response hailing democracy will retorted however this shows the cahnge in values as democracy existed at the time of confederation yet in the situation of the Senate was neglected as to ensure an upper house of merit and pinciple.

You call me unoriginal, when electing a Senate is as old as the United States and just as unCanadian.