A More Equitable Senate

House of Sober Second Thought

House of Sober Second Thought

Canada needs the Senate as long as it can be run equitably and less partisan. Because Prime Ministers have tended to misuse the appointment process and give Senate positions as favors for political hackmen speaks loudly against the Prime Minister, not the intended function and benefit of the Senate.

“No nation should be under unchecked, single-chamber government … It must also be remembered that, under our system, the power of the Cabinet tends to grow at the expense of the House of Commons … The Senate is not so much a check on the House of Commons as it is upon the Cabinet, and there can be no doubt that its influence in this respect is salutary.” (Sir Clifford Sifton, “The New Era in Canada”: 1917)

As of now, the Prime Minister selects the appointments for the Senate and gives his recommendations to the Governor General who almost always approves of his choices. A suggestion is to have the Senators appointed according to the percentage of votes each party received in the last General Election. If the Conservatives receive 39% of the votes as in the last election, they then have the opportunity to appoint 39 senators. If the Liberals receive 28% of the vote, then they may appoint 28 senators. The NDP would appoint as to their popular vote, likewise the Bloc, the Greens and even maybe an Independent or two. Under this system the Senate will always reflect the vote of the public and unless one party receives a majority of electoral votes, there will never be a one-sided advantage.

But, you say, there are 105 Senators. 100 appointed by the elected parties then, with a permanent allowance of 3 senators granted to Fist Nations. One from the west, one central and one from the east? The other 2 senators could be discretionary to the Governor General to help maintain the Provincial balance.

As always, we are open to and welcome your suggestions and comments.

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