Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Finally Some Action on Senate Reform

The Conservative Government has introduced measures to introduce term limits for Senators. This is a bold move for a sitting Prime Minister, previous Prime Ministers including Brian Mulroney, John Turner, Pierre Trudeau, and Jean Chr├ętien have used their powers to appoint senators, to "stack the senate" at the end of their term as a means of extending their influence beyond their elected terms. A Senate seat was also the ultimate patronage appointment. If appointed at age 45, a Senator could serve 30 years without ever being held accountable to the people they represent. Limiting terms to 8 years can only be good for this institution.

Likewise, electing Senators will add credibility to the once proud institution. If elections for Senate positions are held in conjunction with provincial elections, it will ensure that Senators are elected based on their merits rather than the national campaign. This type of Senate would be much more effective at looking at new laws with the "somber second thought" that it requires.

There has been more exiting stuff to write about recently, but this is a positive move for democracy in Canada and it must be commended.

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