Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Then Make It Vanish

From CBC:

If his government's efforts to reform the Senate are stymied, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday, the upper chamber should be abolished.

As an Ontarian and a city-dweller, there's nothing in a Triple-E Senate for me. Given the various deviations from rep. by pop. that already dilute my vote in favor of rural ridings, why would I want to see MORE power shifted West and into the hills? So bring it on, Stevie, bring it on.

Except that, of course, abolishing the Senate as much as reforming it would require a constitutional amendment and the consent of all ten provinces, so that's not a go either. If the country is still here, the Senate will still be here, and in its current form, the day our sun goes supernova.

(And of course Harper's plan for an elected Senate is a crock)

18 comments:

Mike said...

Strange bedfellows...the NDP has advocated abolishing the senate for years...

Anonymous said...

Farck you all in Ontario and Quebec. You want to retain your power over the rest of Canada no matter how the population shifts.

I fully support Quebec separation, then the not-Ontario provinces can finally have a say in this country, instead of being dictated to be you stinkin' eastern bastages.

Anonymous said...

Surprise! The CBC is running a piece attacking the Conservatives? It must be one of those rare days that end in the letter 'Y'.

Ti-Guy said...

Farck you all in Ontario and Quebec. You want to retain your power over the rest of Canada no matter how the population shifts.

I fully support Quebec separation, then the not-Ontario provinces can finally have a say in this country, instead of being dictated to be you stinkin' eastern bastages.


Shuddup.

Surprise! The CBC is running a piece attacking the Conservatives? It must be one of those rare days that end in the letter 'Y'.

Shuddup.

...God, Conservatives are such bozos. They think "elected senate" will magically transform democracy, when the examples of republican democracy all around the world, including in that loony bin to the South, suggest otherwise.

Reform it, abolish it, it simply will not matter if people keep electing retards.

Anonymous said...

As an Albertan of some vintage I've had to listen to hillbillies beak off about thinks like the Senate for several decades.
Ask why the Senate needs to change and you'll go through a few hundred hillbillies before you get more than a one sentence answer. They're like trained seals out here, they bark on command but have the mind a flea.
As for elected Senate's we've had more than a taste of how Alberta Conservatives rig senate elections so should it come about, expect the entire process to become another Harper-like circus, reminiscent of what Republicans have done to the good ol' USA.

ed king said...

then the not-Ontario provinces can finally have a say in this country, instead of being dictated to be you stinkin' eastern bastages.

The not-Ontario-or-Quebec provinces have 57 seats in the Senate while Quebec and Ontario have only 48. Quebec and Ontario, in case you need reminding, have 62% of the Canadian population.

In the House of Commons, the not-Ontario-or-Quebec provinces have 127 while Ontario has 106. Ontario has a greater population than all those provinces put together. Harper's proposed redistribution has insured that Ontario will remain the most under-represented province for at least 20 years. Quit your whining.

Scotian said...

"...instead of being dictated to be you stinkin' eastern bastages." anonymous 10:18 AM

You know, it would be really nice if once in a while Westerners could remember that eastern Canada is the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec/Ontario are CENTRAL Canada. This is just further evidence of the contempt for my region by these so called democrats in the West like anonymous here. Nothing like ignoring the existence of four Provinces (two of which are founding members of Confederation I might add) in your smears and insults to remind us on the East Coast why we should not trust Western voices like this, which curiously enough also seem to be rooted in the Reform/CA/CPC part of the political spectrum as well. Coincidence? I think not.

As to the topic of the post itself, Harper is selling a mirage and he knows it. As BCL so correctly points out to actually do meaningful reform of the Senate requires Constitutional amendment by the Provinces, and there is no way that is going to happen anytime soon (as in the next several years to decades). Therefore Harper is yet again making shit up to make himself and his party sound far better than they truly are, as any comparison between what they claimed to represent prior to coming to power and their actions since coming to power illustrate beyond any reasonable doubt to any objective/non-partisan/disinterested observer.

Besides, the Senate does not have the power to interfere with money bills and such, so their ability to block the functioning of the governing party in the HoC is limited, if they were elected that could inherently change because then they had the moral authority to challenge which as appointed members they do not. It is actually not a bad thing or inherently undemocratic to have a body that reviews legislation that is not bound to the whims of the day and can take the longer view, as one of the inherent limitations to elected democratic government is that they tend to develop a problem with taking anything but the short term view with issues, as in from election to election, and there are many serious issues that need to be examined in longer terms than that. It is this sort of thing that an appointed Senate is useful for, and yet serves the interests of democracy, especially since the true power sits in the HoC which is elected. Understanding this though takes being interested in politics beyond the bumper sticker/sloganeering approach favoured by far too many political partisans, especially those within the ranks of the CPC.

From the hills.... said...

Big City Libs Top Ten Reasons To Keep the Senate.

1.Because it is full of liberals.
2.Because it is full of liberals.
3.Because it is full of liberals.
4.Because it is full of liberals.
5.Because it is full of liberals.
6.Because it is full of liberals.
7.Because it is full of liberals.
8.Because it is full of liberals.
9.Because it is full of liberals.
10.Because it is full of liberals.

"why would I want to see MORE power shifted West and into the hills?"

How very "central Canadian" of you.

bigcitylib said...

From the Hills wrote:

"How very "central Canadian" of you."

That's probably cuz I live in Central Canada.

Joe Calgary said...

God forbid you'd like to see a better democracy created. The Australian model seems to work pretty well.

As for diluting your vote BCL, we've got the money, so our worst case senariou is buying your "Central Canadian" politicians off.

That shouldn't be such a new thing to you though. Central Canadian MP's of one sort or another have been bought off since the start.

Probably a better question would be "How long will Western Canada tolerate the imbalance in regional representation?"

If we go, your screwed boyyo.

Gayle said...

"You know, it would be really nice if once in a while Westerners could remember that eastern Canada is the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec/Ontario are CENTRAL Canada..."

Some of us remember that :).

As for the rest of you, why don't we stop arguing about the merits of senate reform, and instead ask Harper to lay his cards on the table and tell us what reform he seeks? And by reform, I mean "reform", not the elected senate bill/term limits bill he is talking about now - because that is not what my fellow Albertans are talking about (as evidenced by the comments here).

Harper has not said he wants a Triple E senate - nor will he, because it will cost him votes in Ontario and Quebec. He cannot speak out against Triple E because it will cost him votes in Alberta.

Instead, he criticizes constantly, and promises nothing...

lenny said...

"You want to retain your power over the rest of Canada no matter how the population shifts."

Hasn't the Cons senate reform dream always been to do precisely that? To provide each province, regardless of population, with the same number of elected senate seats, thereby providing Canadians with more or less influence on government simply by virtue of which province they happen to reside in?

Ti-Guy said...

If we go, your screwed boyyo.

You tell 'em, Jethro.

Holly Stick said...

""You know, it would be really nice if once in a while Westerners could remember that eastern Canada is the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec/Ontario are CENTRAL Canada..."

Some of us remember that :)."

Yes indeed, we do, including my many PEI relatives who settled in the west. Unfortunately, we also got a few immigrants we could do without, like Harper who was produced by Ontario. Thanks a hell of a lot.

Ti-Guy said...

He only became really depraved after he moved out West. They all do.

Holly Stick said...

It's the big sky; all that less-smoggy air can go to their heads and make them swell up something awful. The purpose of the cowboy hat is to prevent their heads exploding. PMS got a defective one.

Anonymous said...

Could we make the CBC vanish as well?

nitroglycol said...

The thing is, BigCityLib is correct in pointing out that regardless of the merits of reforming or abolishing the Senate, it would require a constitutional amendment, and hence is probably not likely for the forseeable future.

If you really want parliamentary reform, that will really help serve democracy, forget about the Senate- what we should do is adopt some form of proportional representation (preferably choosing a model like that used by Germany and New Zealand rather than that used by Italy, needless to say). Those of us living in Ontario have an opportunity to vote for it in a referendum on October 10 (albeit one that's horribly stacked against change).