Thursday, April 29, 2010

Elect It!

Tories introduce Senate election billConservative Party introduces senate election legislation

As promised long ago, the Conservative Party has begun to move forward with its Senate reform agenda.

And the road to Senate reform will begin in the Senate, as the Tories opted to introduce their legislation there.

The bill will allow all of Canada's provinces -- not merely Alberta -- to elect Senators-in-waiting. The decision abour whether or not to actually hold the elections will remain up to individual provinces, but Canadians will no longer have to wait for each province to pass individual legislation.

Senator Bob Runciman is particularly excited to have this legislation before the Senate.

"It boggles the mind that one of the world's greatest democracies appoints people to a House of Parl iament, considering that as we stand here we have troops in Afghanistan fighting and dying to support a budding democracy," Runciman announced.

With a plurality in the Senate, the Conservatives will still face some challenges in passing this legislation: notably, bringing Progressive Conservative and independent Senators onboard to vote for it.

But should this bill pass in the Senate, the Liberal caucus in the House of Commons will have a very difficult time justifying opposing a Senate reform bill that will have already won the approval of the Senate itself.


  1. In principle, a terrific, commendable idea (almost on a par with the old Triple-E Senate from Reform Party days).

    In practice - well, that's another story. Since these are the Tories, I have faith in there being a catch or a political dirty trick lurking somewhere in the wings. In their heart of hearts, the Cons don't want an elected Senate any more than the most henpecked royalist (or the most mossbacked machine politician). Whatever the reason for introducing this legislation, I am positive that said purpose is not to actually achieve an elected Senate.

  2. I, too, can see an alternative purpose at the centre of efforts to elect the Senate.

    The Conservative Party needs to demonstrate to its base among former Reformers that it can, in fact, effect change in the country.

    If Canadians begin electing Senators in all of Canada's provinces, Canadians will inevitably elect some Senators from parties other than the Conservatives (I think this is actually a good thing), but this isn't the only change the Tories have pushed that will actually be electorally detrimental to them.

    For example, some people have assumed that adding more seats in Alberta will simply result in more Conservatives. But adding those additional seats alters the intra-riding demographics across Alberta. The seats added in Alberta will inevitably be added in the Calgary-Red Deer-Edmonton corridor, where there are strong pockets of support for the Liberals and NDP, making it even more likely that these two parties will elect candidates in the future.


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