Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Senators Fan Club

No not the hockey team. The old farts club in parliament. That vestigial remnant of the aristocracy, the days of Lords and Ladies, the Senate.

The Senate was intended to mirror the British House of Lords, in that it was meant to represent the social and economic élite.

It seems that the Liberal bloggers over at Progressive Bloggers are all aghast at the idea of abolishing their favorite retirement village; the Senate. All sorts of slagging of Jack Layton and the NDP is going on over this issue. As I posted about here. Not a peep out of them when Progressive Conservative Senator Hughie Segal announced his plan to call for a referendum on Abolishing the Senate weeks ago.

Mainly it is because they put their hopes in the Red Chamber, coincidently the colour of their party, where they hold the majority to be able to do what their Party in Opposition cannot do; oppose the Harper Government. They have no more vision than the realpolitik of the moment.

Read these pathetic partisan posts and you will see what I mean.

Why Canada Should Not Abolish the Senate
It is currently the closest thing we have to an actual opposition to the government.

Senate Reform
The end goal of yesterday’s announcement isn’t to abolish the senate, it’s to abolish the Liberal opposition. It’s another example of the fact that Layton is willing to work more closely with Stephen Harper than any other leader, so long as it’s good for his party

If there is going to be a referendum in the next election I would like to see a vote on reforming the voting system to proportional representation model. Jack has joined Harper’s in his plan to distract Canadians from our disastrous climate change, child care, poverty, and First Nations policies so we can yammer on about something that matters very little

"Harper would back plan for referendum on abolishing Senate." Sure he'll take Jack up on his offer. He's not an idiot, after all. He'll absolutely take up Jack on his offer to get the Senate front and center on the nation's agenda. He wants an Americanized elected-equal Senate, as he does with most things. So if these two clowns have their way, we'll be spending eons of time in the next few years debating Senate reform, when the country is not crying out for it and has plenty of other priorities

There is no doubt that the New Democrats and the Conservatives are in league together. There have been moments in Canadian political history where they?ve supported each other?s democracy to perverse the Canadian democratic tradition that has been celebrated for over a century. Conservative and NDP sources have told CTV that the Harper government will back a NDP motion slated to call for a national referendum to abolish the unelected Senate that?ll be introduced to the House of Commons next Tuesday.

I was just watching Thomas Mulcair on CBC News. The NDP is now proposing a referendum on abolition of the Senate. To begin with, I doubt you would get a majority in every province so it's a non-starter.

Once again showing that Liberals are often no more 'progressive' than their partisan playmates over at the Blogging Tories. As if we needed any reminder.

Cudos go to those progressive bloggers who actually have defended this long standing policy of the CCF/NDP and the Left In Canada. Of course two of these are Dippers, but they are not particularly partisan.

Longheld NDP policy having its day
Today some big news broke on the electoral reform front. On the weekend in Winnipeg, NDP Leader Jack Layton called for a nation wide referendum on the abolition of the senate. That announcement should not have surprised anyone simply because the NDP and it's forerunner, the CCF, have been calling for the abolition of the Senate since 1932. The NDP also announced that they would be putting a motion before the House of Commons upon it's return to have this referendum. The Senate Abolition policy is hardly new policy for the NDP, but what added to the news was the announcement today Stephen Harper and his party would back the NDP's motion in the House.

Liberal MPs should take note, this is what effective opposition looks like.Despite what Stephane Dion might tell Liberal MPs, opposition parties are supposed get their ideas on the agenda, not roll over and have the government get its way like Liberals have of late

Changes To The Senate On The Way?
Now on the motion itself: I’m personally in favour of creating a “Citizen Assembly On Senate Reform” and let’s them decide what kind of action should be taken, approved by a referendum. But, hey, I don’t think that the current Senate is acceptable in today’s world, and abolition sounds like an acceptable alternative to me.

Though to be fair even some Liberals get it.

Stephen Harper is not Always Wrong
I guess this post should be titled why the senate should be abolished. Let's review our options on the Canadian Senate:The Status Quo:An unelected senate/ or quasi-elected (Harper's appointment of the senator from Alberta) senate with almost as much power (on paper) as the House of Commons.…

And then some folks at PB actually are defending the longstanding dream of the right wing populists in the Reform party of an Triple E Senate as an alternative to abolition. Anything but abolition.

Senate Abolition VS. Senate Reform
With a referendum being discussed, and potentially in the offing, the topic of senate reform has suddenly moved from the back burner to the front burner for many Canadians. This may provide an opportunity to begin the process of airing public concerns and potentially moving from an unelected, unequal and ineffective chamber toward the type of elected, equal and effective one that would be the most beneficial for everyone involved.

When push comes to shove the Liberals will accept Senate Reform to save their Red Chamber. That is perhaps what irks them most about Jacks move. They will be forced to accept the Conservatives Senate Reform as the lesser of two evils.


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Northern BC Dipper said...

Thanks for the link to my post, but I don't remember joining the Liberal party.

Especially with a handle like "Northern BC Dipper"

eugene plawiuk said...

Oops I'll change that....

Woman at Mile 0 said...

Funny I don't remember a bunch of Dipper posts calling for Senate reform until Jack opened his mouth. Talk about crass partisanship! So blantant and very sad.

eugene plawiuk said...

I have blogged here and before that set up web campaigns calling for the abolition of the senate. See my links. which you obviously didn't bother to read. As for other dippers I can't speak for them. And no dipper is going to call for reform of the senate our call is abolish the senate. You have us confused with Tories and the newly converted reformers the Liberals.

Chet Scoville said...

As I've never been a Liberal, and describe the Senate as something that gives us "some benefits," I really don't see what you're on about.