Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Cost Of Abolishing The Senate

Another Liberal blogger suffers from wishful thinking;A splash of cold water for the Senate abolition gang and sounding a lot like their partisan pals over at the Blogging Tories.

The Liberal nay sayers are buoyed by the 'experts' opinions; NDP-Tory plan won't get through Senate: experts

Except they forget that Quebec eliminated it's Senate years ago. And we can do the same. Simply payout the old farts.

The Senate consists of 105 members, appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the prime minister. Seats are assigned on a regional basis, with each region receiving 24 seats. Senators must be at least 30 years old, and they can serve until they reach the age of 75. They earn more than $100,000 a year, not including pensions and benefits.
Let's see pull out my handy dandy calculator and that comes out to a paltry;
$10,500,000 not including pensions and benefits. Make em a one time offer and they will dissolve the Red Chamber laughing all the way to the bank.

And I am sure the Conservative Senators would of course not accept the payout on the principle of saving taxpayers money. Just like the Reform Party MP's didn't accept their government pensions.



SEE:

The Senators Fan Club

An Idea Whose Time Has Come


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3 comments:

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Isn't the larger point that even if the ENTIRE SENATE agrees to eliminate itself, that's not nearly enough to actually eliminate the Senate!?!?

A constitutional amendment affecting the number of Senators (which surely the complete elimination of the Senate is!) must be adopted by the unanimous consent of the provinces. (Section 41 makes explicit reference to the Senate, and you can't modify section 41 without the unanimous consent of the provinces).

Even under the easier constitutional amending formula of Section 38 (which I'm not sure applies, given section 41, but whatever...) you need the approval of 7 of the 10 provinces in order for an amendment to pass. Well, I count PEI, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick as four provinces who would likely never support the abolition of the Senate, and I doubt Quebec would either. That leaves either 5 or 6 provinces that would (probably, though not certainly) approve, so you'd need to convince at least one province that is disproportionately advantaged by their number of Senators to vote against the existence of the Senate, and probably two (and I'd argue, under Section 41 you need ALL of them!).

So, hold an expensive referendum and bribe all the Senators if you want, but good luck getting the legislatures of PEI and New Brunswick to agree to the elimination of the Senate!

eugene plawiuk said...

Considering the cost of the Senate the Referendum would be cheap.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

"Considering the cost of the Senate the Referendum would be cheap."


Not if it doesn't change anything it won't.