A Reformed Canadian Senate Essay Research Paper

A Reformed Canadian Senate Essay, Research Paper

That is a question which many generations

of Canadians have asked themselves.?

Many ideas for reform have arisen form this dialogue, but why haven?t

Canadiatopic I came across many rather insightful and humorous quotations that

I am going to share with you.1.Senator Eugene Forsey commenting on the

1987 meech Lake proposal: The transformed Senate will have all the

legal powers of the present Senate.?

Most notably the power to reject, absolutely, any bill whatsoever.? But it will have a political clout the

present Senate cannot even dream of.?

Its members will take seriously their job of representing provincial and

regional interests, and if that makes trouble A Reformed Canadian Senate?That is a question which many generations

of Canadians have asked themselves.?

Many ideas for reform have arisen form this dialogue, but why haven?t

Canadians accepted any of those proposals? First, Canada as we know is governed

federally by a parliament that consists of the the Monarch, the Senate, and the

House of Commons.? These three bodies

tend to work harmoniously with one another to allow the government of the day

to carry out its business efficiently.?

This synchronism of the federal parliament has also been criticised for

in effect giving the governing party a five-year dictatorship.? One of the largest contributors to this

apparent lack of accountability of the federal government is the ineffective

senate.? The senate was established as

the chamber of sober second thought but it contemporary practice it has to a

great degree become the chamber of the second rubber stamp on a bill?s way to

the governor general.? The reasons for

the senate?s lack of effectiveness are apparent to us all:1.?

Senators lack credibility as they are appointed 2.?

As senators are appointed by the PM they are effectively puppets of the

federal government 3.?

The unequal provincial representation makes it nearly impossible for

senator?s to adequately defend their province?s interests. As well recent scandals involving the

attendance of senator?s have all contributed to the public?s unfavourable view

of the senate.Many proposals for senate reform have been

made over the years a few of them being:1.The House of the federation, where in the

constitution there should be a role for provinces in selecting members of the

senate, as well as a greater representation of the western and Atlantic

provinces in the upper house.2.One proposal from 1908 suggests that 1/3

of senators be appointed by the federal government, 1/3 by the provincial

government, and the remaining 1/3 by universities and public bodies.3.Recent proposals have included the German

Bundesrat model whereby the provinces would send delegations to represent them

in the federal senate.4.In 1984 it was recommended by a special

Joint Committee on Senate reform that the senate be elected directly by the

people.5.The previous proposal is the basis for

the current triple E senate, elected, equal, and effective, which the Reform

party of Canada is currently proposing.6.There is also a movement for the

abolition of the senate with political backing form the New Democratic Party of

Canada.Variations on these proposals have been

made over the years but none have them have been widely accepted by the Canadian

people, why?1.One of the reasons that the many house of

federation, or mixed appointment and elected models have failed is a result of

the publics negative perception of the appointment process.? By giving the provinces power to name

senators it would give the premiers the ability to perpetuate the patronage

process and thus reduce the credibility of the reformed senate.? It would take the criticism of the senate

away from the federal government and place it in the provincial arena.? There is a benefit to this proposal that

could lead to further senate reforms over time.? If it were the responsibility of the provinces to appoint

senators it is reasonable to assume that in certain provinces there would be a

push towards electing senators provincially.?

This idea is not too far off, ?as

in Alberta we have seen this occur even without the provincial authority to

appoint senators, thus it is reasonable to predict that if the provinces had

the authority to appoint senators that the process of senatorial selection

would become more popular elsewhere. 2.The largest stumbling block to a triple E

senate has been Quebec and Ontario?s apprehension to reducing their influence

within the federal government.? Under

the triple E proposal their representation would be significantly diluted. 3.There are also the questions of how

effective we would want the senate to be??

Should it continue to have the same legislative powers as it currently

does?? If not what powers should it

exercise?? If it retained the same powers

many have argued that that we would be creating a second house of commons that

would only slow down the process of government as well as increase the cost of

government conducting its business.? Proponents

of the triple e senate argue that that is the reason we need a reformed senate,

to disable the government from trampling over provincial rights and to limit

the ?Government?s

ability to rush through legislation that deserves sober second thought.4.There is also no incentive for the

federal government to agree to senate reform as it would significantly lessen

their importance in parliament.? The

only acceptable proposals that would appear to satisfy the federal governments

desire to maintain control would be keeping the status quo, or the complete

abolition of the senate.As you can see it is apparent that there

are many reasons for why senate reform proposals have not been broadly accepted

by the Canadian populace.? Regrettably

it is often not the proposed reform that is rejected it is the additional constitutional

reforms that have been in the past packaged along with senate reforms.It seems even some members of the upper chamber

don?t see it as being an effective tool in parliament.The senate has been severely

criticised for its action…? I f we

enact legislation speedily, we are called rubber stamps.? If we exercise the constitutional authority

which the Senate posses under the British North America Act, we are told that

we are doing something that we have no right to do.? I don?t know how to satisfy our critics?3….the importance of this question in the

minds of the statesmen at Quebec may be gleaned from the fact that practically

the whole six days out of a total of fourteen spent in discussing the details

of the {union} scheme were given over to the problems of constituting the

second chamber.If the upper chamber was that important to

the founding Father?s perhaps we should follow their example and not rush when

it comes to reforming the upper house.? I would encourage any of you have any

concerns about the senate or would like any further information to contact the

senate too free at 1800 267 7362.? There

you can contact any senator too free and from my experience they are more than

happy to assist you.?kes it nearly impossible for se


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