The Senate of Canada sleeps on.

It was surprising. A regular reader who frequently agrees with Babel-on-the-Bay has changed his mind about the undemocratic anachronism of Canada’s Senate. Now he thinks he likes the elitist appointments. He met a Senator he likes.

I used to know a lot of Senators I liked. That hardly means that I think it is right to have an appointed Senate in a democratic nation.

But this chap thinks that because he met one Senator who seemed to have her wits about her and knew a few things, the Senate is some how necessary.

But the opening question is: Why do we need a Senate? It seems it was suggested by Queen Victoria’s ministers to slow down the impetuous actions of those people who were elected. It was to be a House of sober(?) second thought. It is for a serious (supposedly) non-partisan review of legislation. The Brits have a House of Lords. And how well does that work?

Our reader was impressed that this Senator he met was neither a lawyer nor a politician. All this meant was that she had neither the training to understand the legal structure of laws nor the easy familiarity with the political implications of the bills the Senate was asked to review. And why do we tenure these people until age 75? There is nothing magical about that age.

I seriously believe that the Senate is just one of those hold-overs from the Victorian era that should be studied and modernized or abolished. And if we need review of legislation, we could hire independent panels of people with expertise in the subject matter to review legislation at a much lower cost than the Senate of Canada.

Canada is a large and complex country. I like to think that it is a country with good instincts. It is the ability of a country to change and adapt with changing times and changing technologies that will give it the strength it needs in the future. And always remember, when it comes to governance, nothing is impossible.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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