The move will give the Conservatives more senators than the Liberals for the first time in decades, thus ensuring almost total control of the upper house of Parliament and guaranteeing swift Senate passage of any Harper-inspired legislation, especially Senate reform. And in early March when the House of Commons reopens, Harper is expected to quickly introduce two bills that would reshape the Senate forever. The first would slap eight-year term limits on senators, who now can serve until age
Published July 24, Updated June 5, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to make a statement on Friday about the scandal-plagued Senate, with one report suggesting he would call for abolishing the Red Chamber. The question of changing or getting rid of the Senate has had a fraught history.
Here are the three options. An empty Senate on Sept. Reuters Keep it the way it is As it is now, senators are appointed by the prime minister of the day to serve until they are 75 years old.
All legislation must be passed by a majority vote of the Senate, though in practice, senators rarely fail to approve bills passed by the elected House of Commons. Most polls suggest Canadians are not happy with the Senate the way it currently operates.
In a June EKOS polljust 11 per cent of respondents said the chamber should be left alone, while 45 per cent supported serious reform and 35 per cent said it should be abolished.
Inthe Conservative government asked the Supreme Court for guidance on the constitutionality of certain reforms, such as term limits or electing senators. Alberta currently holds elections for Senate nominees, who must still be appointed by the prime minister of the day.The first step to abolish the Senate would be to hold a national referendum at the same time as the next federal election.
If the majority of Canadians voted to abolish the Senate, then it would be up to the federal and provincial governments to amend the Canadian constitution accordingly.
On the other hand, the NDP wants to abolish the Senate.
They argue it is a costly body that adds no value. They contend that the elected House of Commons is the only body needed to pass laws. Abolish the Senate. The original constitutional purpose of the Senate — to represent the states, not the people who live in them — has long since been abandoned.
The Senate: reform, abolish or ignore? Canada's Senate is in a dreadful state, with one senator on trial for fraud and bribery, another before the courts on sexual assault charges and police reviewing the files of at least nine others with an eye to laying criminal charges for expenses fraud.
With Republican Senate victories in Montana, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, North Carolina, and West Virginia, Democrats are reeling from their worst political drubbing in decades.
Things, the pundit class proclaims, will never be the same. Why the Senate should be abolished In the face of patronage, scandal and futility, getting rid of the Senate is a better option than doing nothing at all.