Essay On Canadian Senate Reform

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Canadian Senate Reform

The Senate, which consists of one hundred and five appointed members, was created to represent the rights and interests of Canadians in all regions. It is known as the superior house within Canada’s bipartisan parliamentary democracy (Joyal, 2003). There is no question that Canada is in fact, a democratic country and The Senate exists, in theory, to ensure the continuation of this. As democracy is frequently defined as “power vested in the people” (Stilborn, 1992), it is not uncommon for individuals to see the country’s democratic methods as a largely efficacious. However, contrary to popular belief, democracy, if not implemented properly, can be a “slow, messy, combative and often inefficient form of government” as …show more content…

The goal was to have Senators elected by a vote consisting of multiple-member, province-wide precincts (Makarenko, 2006). It was seen as important to ensure that each province in Canada obtained a confirmable number of seats within the Senate as the Triple E Senate advocated absolute equality between provinces; each province would be given six seats, with the Territories given two seats respectively. Additionally, the Triple E Senate urged that the Senate should be given a “suspensive veto” consisting of ninety days for money bills and one hundred and twenty days for other types of legislation, signifying the House of Commons would be able to override the Senate after these durations (Makarenko, 2006). Evidently, the Triple E Senate received little support at this time, as it was not successfully in its implementation into government. What both the government and general public failed to see was that the objective of the Triple-E proposal was to reshape the relationship that existed between citizens and government and also between the provinces, in order to make it more democratic and impartial, benefitting the country as a whole (Makarenko, …show more content…

He states, “The Senate should not be a duplicate of the House of Commons, but a compliment”. Although similar to the above suggestions, Gibbins and Roach (2010) have developed four main contentions that advocate ways to improve the Senate in today’s society.

1. The senate should better represent Canada’s diverse population.
Canada is known for its multicultural comradeship and diversity but this fact is not reflected in the configuration of Parliament. If we were to take a close look at the House of Commons, we would instantly notice that most individuals are white men, supporting one of only four political parties. Statistically speaking, twenty percent of Canada’s population is of visible minority or Aboriginal status however only a mere eight percent of recent MP’s are non-white individuals. Based on this information, we can make a cultivated assumption that Canadian minorities are severely underrepresented in political life. Senate reform provides a legitimate chance for our country to address this long-established and indelible shortcoming. According to Gibbins and Roach (2010), “Electing Senators through some form of proportional representation should be a key element of Senate reform. A properly designed proportional representation

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