Part of my Vision for real democracy in Canada involves Senate reform.
In my vision of a truly democratic Canada, the majority of the constituents in the riding dictate how their MP votes on bills in Parliament. When all of the MPs vote, they vote for the voices of the majority of Canadians. When there is a majority consensus, the bill is passed.
Having a Senate then review these bills is superfluous. In this ideal democracy, Canadians have already voiced their stand on the issue at hand. That ought to be final.
I understand that the Senate was originally intended to be the ‘sober, second judgment’ on bills, modeled after the British system. When our country was created, this system was probably the best option available and certainly the one that most Canadians were accustomed to at the time.
But times change. We must ask ourselves if having a group of appointed people be able to veto a decision made by the majority of Canadians is a valuable use of our tax dollars. After all, we pay for their salary and pension. I remember the Conservatives promising to reform the Senate by the time the next election rolled around – back in 2006 (two elections ago). Instead, what we have now is a Senate comprised mainly of Harper supporters who have already voted down one bill that was passed in the House of Commons. The bill in questions was Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act.
Now I understand that when you’re running a country that there is a lot to do and that it may take time to draft and pass all of the bills that you would like to pass. But to claim in 2006 that you want Senate reform and then five years later support said Senate in defeating a bill approved by the MPs who represent Canadians is ludicrous. Even Rob Anders was involved in creating the committee to bring about a form of elected Senate reform.
It is not enough to talk about Senate reform in Canada. If you want real democracy in this country, you must let your MP know and your MP must listen to what you are saying and put forward a bill to have this kind of reform. Now the question of deciding to abolish the Senate entirely or choose to have elected Senators is your decision. I personally don’t believe that we need a Senate because the votes of the MPs speak for Canadians and they don’t need to be second-guessed about their decision-making. However, as your prospective MP, it will be my job to take your decision on this to Parliament.
I want you to vote for me because I will not let another two elections go by before we vote on a bill about Senate reform. I will ensure that our tax dollars are not being wasted in this out-dated form of government, and I will ensure that we continue to voice our desires for real representation and real democracy in Canada.
Leave a comment if you have an opinion, or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter and we can have a conversation there.