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Should Canada Eliminate the Senate?

 

This question is to discuss whether the Senate should be eliminated.  It is a forum for discussing the core value of the Senate and the benefit to Canadians.

A separate question exists to discuss Canadian Senate Reform.

The Senate of Canada
 

 

The Senate is Required and Valuable

The Senate Does Not Add Value and Should Be Eliminated

Introduction:

The Senate is the body of "sober second thought."  This service is of value to Canadians as it has prevented bad legislation from becoming law.  Special thought went into creating the Senate by the creators of the Canadian Constitution.

Introduction:

The Senate functions could be transferred to the House of Commons and the opposition.  The job being performed can be completed by elected represenatitives.

Senate Function:

The Senate performs reviews of all bills before they are passed into law with consideration of the effect the bill will have on all Canadians.  No bill can become law without Senate approval.  This is a valuable process which protects Canadians.

The Senate forms committees to protect under represented Canadians and Canadian values.  The Senate conducts studies to provide Canadians and Canadian Government a better researched understanding of various aspects of Canadian life.

Senate Function:

The current functions of the Senate could be transferred to other parts of government and performed more efficiently.  If the Senate were eliminated, more careful thought would be put into bills by the House of Commons.

Many of the studies performed by the Senate are already redundant and provide similar results as other organizations.  A better utilization of existing studies would be more valuable.

Senator Selection:

Senators are appointed by the Prime Minister and can (under most circumstances) keep their position until retirement.

This process of Senator selection ensures that the Senate is not affected by short term political trends or the cycle of elections.

Senator Selection:

Senator selection is not democratic and therefore harmful to the overall democracy of Canada.  Senators have gained their seats by doing party favors and are not seen as legitimate holders of their positions by Canadians.

Scandal: 

The recent Senate scandal does not warrant the elimination of the Senate.  A better way of dealing with the problem would be improving rules and monitoring expenses.

Scandal:

In light of the recent scandal involving expenses by senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau, Canadians have lost faith in the Senate.  The Senate’s reputation has been damaged, deemed untrustworthy.

 

References:

1) Shut Down the Senate: Democracy Watch: http://democracywatch.ca/campaigns/shutdownsenate

2) Canadian Senate: Roles, Powers, and Operation: Maple-Leaf Web: http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/canadian-senate-role-powers-operation

3) In defence of an appointed Senate: The Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/in-defence-of-an-appointed-senate/article12595437/

4) The Senate of Canada: http://sen.parl.gc.ca/portal/home-e.htm

 

Should Canada Eliminate the Senate?

Should Canada Eliminate the Senate?

2

Votes

Canada would be better off without a Senate.
0

Votes

The Senate provides a useful function and should be kept.
0

Votes

Undecided.
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