Reform may be on the horizon for Canadian Senate
When Stephen Harper closed out 2008 by appointing 18 new Senators he was accused of sounding the death knell for his own Senate reform agenda.
Instead, it seems that the move may have been a prelude to some smaller reforms.
Among some of the reforms being considered include a proposal to abolish the $4,000 property ownership requirement, as suggested by Liberal Senator Tommy Banks. Conservative Senator Hugh Segal believes Senate proceedings should be televised. Bert Brown and David Oliver are suggesting reforms to the Senate committee system and possibly even abolishing question period in the Senate (certainly a questionable move).
With 18 new Senators in the ranks, however, Harper and the Conservatives certainly have renewed strength in the Senate to help push through their reform agenda.
But if renewing efforts to institute Senate elections and term limits isn't on the Harper government's immediate agenda, they'd better get on with it.
Alberta's senators in waiting Link Byfield and Betty Unger have been touring the country urging provincial leaders to choose their recommendations for future Senators before any future appointments can be made -- or before the Tories lose office.