07 January 2010

Senate reform, again

One glaring point the Globe and Mail front pager on senate reform missed is blatantly obvious.

The Globe claimed that:

Analysts say that provincial opposition in smaller provinces could stem from premiers' fear that their already weak national voice will be further limited if newly influential senators appear on the scene.

That’s crap.

All provincial premiers oppose any reform of the senate that would give it real power and political legitimacy.

All premiers are afraid that they will be eclipsed by a group of politicians representing Canadians in Ottawa elected on the basis of geography.  They all fear being reduced to the status of American state governors.

Frankly, that would be the best thing for Canadians as a whole.  The federal parliament should be comprised of two houses, one elected by population and the other representing the provinces equally.

No provincial government should control in any way shape or form the second chamber in the national parliament.

Elect senators directly, with equal numbers from each province.

It’s that simple, but if we let the premiers get involved we will do nothing but reinforce the anti-democratic, paternalistic attitude some of them have and the anti-democratic executive federalism they love to practice.