February 13, 2013
Does Canada Need an Elected Senate?
Jeffrey Simpson, Globe and Mail
Not content with the impossible, the Harper government suggests the improbable: that reform can occur if provinces set up elections for senators, as happened in the United States. But how many premiers, eager to speak for their provinces, will want elected senators vying with them for legitimacy as provincial spokesmen? Yes, this is how an elected Senate came to the United States: Oregon elected senators, and the others eventually followed. Watching the dysfunctional U.S. political system, however, should give advocates of an elected Senate pause. Do we really want a powerful second chamber capable of thwarting the will of the House of Commons? If so, then advocates had better spell out, which they seldom do, how to reconcile the two chambers when they disagree, as they often will.
TAGGED: Senate, Stephen Harper, United States, Canada