The latest developments with respect to the Canadian Senate indicate that this relic of the past should be put to rest.
The events relating to Senator Pat Brazeau and the irregularities in the out of town housing claims by some Senators have cast a shadow on this chamber of sleepy second thought. A number of attempts to reform the Senate in the past have failed miserably. The Senate, in its current form, seems to have outlived its usefulness.
Any attempts to reform the Senate in a satisfactory manner will require constitutional amendment.
This is like opening the Pandora's Box. None of the central or Atlantic provinces may be willing to give up what they have. This is likely to create a stalemate.
To have the Senators elected by the provinces and then appointed by the Prime Minister has some merit. Also, setting a time limit of eight or nine years for the Senators makes sense. However, such measures may not be the lasting solution.
To simply abolish the Senate and then come up with something more acceptable to Canadians seems to be the only viable solution. However, to do that again appears to be a formidable challenge. Canadians spend more than $92 million to keep the Senate going.
No doubt, there are some very hard working and conscientious members of this chamber who take their responsibility seriously.
They are an exception. On the whole, our Senate has become a repository of old, tired and failed politicians and party loyalists.
For some, it is a plum job with little to do. Canadians deserve better than that. They need a balanced, elected, equal and effective chamber of sober second thought.
Balwant Sanghera Richmond
© Copyright 2013