Monday, May 29, 2006

Senate Reform

Word has it that Senate reform is going to be on the agenda this week.

I have my own thoughts on Senate reform and since I have a blog, I will share them with you.

I believe that the Senate should be elected. I think appointments to the Senate are completely and totally unreasonable, especially since there is no recall provision.

I believe that the Senate should be effective. i.e. It should have a mandate. If it is elected, then maybe the Senate should/could approve Prime Ministerial appointments to key positions in government and crown corporations. Also, I don't think the Senate should be able to introduce legislatation. I think its "sober second thought" could continue, but on a time related basis. No legislation should be held up by the Senate, but ammendments could be proposed.

I believe that the Senate should be equal. i.e. equal number of Senators per province. I know this is not a commonly supported position, but the House of Commons already provides representation by population.

I think the Senate should provide 10 seats per province. I think that the seats should be assigned on a proportional basis per province based on the percentage each party won during the general election. Each leader would be able to appoint (from a list or other such mechanism) his/her choice for Senate seats. The Senate lists would be public prior to the election and the term of each Senator would be until the next general election.

Obviously this plan would need to be worked out in better detail to allocate percentage vote splits and that sort of thing, but you get the gist.

The Senate would then become a house of the provinces. Its mandate to be effective would ensure that all provinces are represented equally at some level of the federation.

My $Q.02 in case anyone asked.


PS I recogonize that the potential for my name to be placed anywhere on those lists is pretty limited :-)

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