Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Senate reform! "Insenaty" in Quebec and Ontario

I know, I know.  "Where's Hatrock?  Senate action and he ain't postin'!"  Well, I've been shipped away on business and working long hours.

So anyway, it appears that a bill will be introduced in the Senate to bring in the long awaited Harper senate reforms--8 year term limits and have the prime minister appoint provincially elected senators.


Eight year term limits?  Oh, no.. it might be 10 or 12 now to have senators overlap governments.  Well, then run again!  I still advocate 6 year terms for one-half of the senators every 3 years--similar to the U.S.

Ok, so the bill will be a good first step without opening the constitution then?

Apparently, not if Quebec has a say.  The province is going to make a constitutional challenge.  Well that's not very nice.  I've never understood how a province with supposedly 40% of the population wants to separate, still wants to hold on to so much power federally in Canada.

Anyway, so now Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says we should just scrap the whole senate.  Well guess what genius, we'd have to open the constitution now (read: can of very large worms).

Not only that, but the Premier of the largest province says it doesn't make sense that Ontario has 25% of the population but only 20% of the senators.  WHAT?  INSENATY NOW! INSENATY NOW!  How many times do I have to explain that we basically already have rep by pop in the House, so why repeat that?  That's no longer a check and balance among provincial regions and interests.
 So you know what's going to happen?  The bill will pass.  Quebec will lose out its challenge.  Senators in Ontario will have to retire in 8/10/12 years (including existing ones who'll hit 75) and they'll be openings.  Especially if they're Liberals retiring (and many are) Harper won't appoint anyone new until they are elected.

So as long as the Conservatives have a plurality in the senate, this may come down to a game of chicken.  That or Harper will give a deadline, and if it's not met, appoint Conservatives to piss people off and draw more attention to the senate, like he has 30-some odd times before.

It worked didn't it?

1 comment:

bertie said...

I like the idea of giving time limits on the election of the senators.Maybe 1 year or 9 months.Then to hell with the premiers,just appoint them.They will eventually get the message when they find out the Conservatives have control of the Senate for 40 years or more.