Mulcairs’ focus on the Senate could backfire. (Brandon Sun, 15 June)
I am sharing my feelings on our present Senate situation. I am not doing this to start a ‘new controversy’; just expressing the way that I feel about its existence and why Canadians should be very careful about getting rid of something that once had a purpose and role in protecting Canada and Canadians from the “democratic element”.
Regardless of the colour of the stripe that one might wear or represent, I believe we still need a senate, so before anyone goes ahead to actually make the abolishing of the senate a reality, it might be prudent to do some background research to investigate “Why the senate was established in the first place.” The senate was created under the Constitution Act, in 1867, primarily to protect regional interests, but also to provide, what the real driver of Confederation, Sir George-Etienne Cartier, called a “power of resistance to impede and oppose the democratic element”
Hence the senate, in Canada, is based on the House of Lords concept in England, and was explicitly designed to frustrate the actions of parliament (the democratic element). In this regard, the biggest nightmare scenario was; the democratic election of a government that would nationalize resources, redistribute income, property, etc.
Yes, it is time to make a change, not to abolish the senate institution, but purge those within the Upper Chamber and begin anew.
Who or what will take the place of what many are now campaigning to scuttle, no one knows. That is the question and that question needs an answer.
Why are the people of Canada paying for and accepting the senate to continue, many might ask; for it seems to have no role to play in todays evolution and ideals of a majority government.
At one time the senate was the inner conscience and a refuge for sober second thoughts and compassion. Sadly of late, those principles have been put aside and abandoned. The integrity of what was once a respected and morale component of the Parliament of Canada, has all but disappeared. Government dominance in the Lower House and spending scandals have resulted in contaminating a once honourable place.
The present system of appointing individuals (selected by the Prime Ministers) has only resulted in “stacking the deck”, per-se (in itself) and Canadians find themselves paying for two of the same.
The authoritative tentacles are intertwined and commands are directed from the majority government in the lower house.
Yes, maintaining this regime is costly. However, when I look at the costs surpassing $1 billion for hosting the 2010 G20 Summit (which lasted about 72 hours) a comparison tells me the senate institution is a fair bargain.
The Red Chamber has fallen from grace. However, for the benefit and protection of Canadians, a phoenix must be reborn with a procedure to implement an elected senate. What is needed, is a bold, and necessary method to renovate what Canadians, at one time had for their safety shield.
Members would have no political affiliation to adulterate their wisdom and decisions. For as I see it, politics only complicates and undermines the obligations and true purpose of the Senate’s original existence. In essence, this would be the most difficult order and challenge to fulfil, as partisan affiliations are often disguised.
Or is this...the conclusion that Canadians are seeking?
Through the power ambitions of the majority in the Lower House, the “real” purpose and responsibilities of the Red Chamber have become morphed, and now it is destined to evolve as a relic of history.
John Fefchak, Virden, MB.