I am writing this because I am still seeing people on Facebook making statements that the Senate should be abolished.
John A. McDonald called the Canadian Senate the Chamber of sober second thoughts, but in today’s Senate, it has become little more than a political rubber stamp. Beyond Prime Ministers stacking the Senate, much is wrong with the Senate. Today, the Senate is plagued with absenteeism, Senators sleeping, and now Senators claiming both living expenses that they are not qualified for, but also exorbitant amounts of money.
Although members are currently appointed by the PM, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has often said his intention is either to transform the Senate into an elected body or abolish it altogether. The NDP has set forward a Motion to abolish the Senate. Some say that it is a ploy to keep the Senate embarrassment alive, but in doing so they may take Canada to the edge of actually getting the Senate abolished. But what would be the result of abolishing the Senate?
Consider the situation if our Senate was actually elected; Harper wouldn’t be able to be able to make his changes in policy or democracy so easily. The ease of manipulating policy flow is exactly why all Prime Ministers in the past have appointed their friends, or followers to the Senate. That is why the Senate has been turn into a Prime Minister rubber stamp. So when we are eager to rid ourselves of the costly second chamber it because we have forgotten the value of and the purpose of the Senate, as a check and a balance to the Commons.
Even the less ego inflated Stephan Harper of a years gone back understood this concept. As the leader of the National Citizens Coalition, or the Reform Party Harper wanted a Triple E Senate, meaning EQUAL, ELECTED and EFFECTIVE.
Consider the idea, that if the Senate was elected and Canadians elected a Liberal Senate, or NDP, or even neutral, Harper couldn’t push his agenda forward as quickly as he has. Now add Effective to that, that the Senate actually had the power to stop bad legislation, now you have a Senate that could actually protect Canada from Prime Ministers like Harper. That is called a check and balance. What Canada needs is not a streamlined, efficient route to oppression, what Canadians needs is a system that protect us from abuse of the system. Sadly, Canadians are looking at the small picture of the Senate when Canadians should be looking at the large picture of creating a better overall Canada, that serves the PEOPLE of Canada.
We Canadians are sometimes pawns, not only because we the People do not have the power to make decisions, but because we listen to the ideas and lies of the powers-that-be and we, and then we, not understanding Democracy, and we agree with the rhetoric of those with their fingers gripped around our heads and moving us. If we understood the principles of our political chess we would stop acting in a way that suggests that we are in agreement with those that are doing us harm. Harper certainly does like sheep.