Crawl Across the Ocean

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Precedents and Precedence

No doubt there's a certain plebian irony to the idea of the future of the Senate - that body designed to protect the patriarchy and the government from the depredations of the common horde - being decided in a referendum, but I have to admit that the first thought that came to my mind was to wonder if the government would ask for a 60% vote for change in order for the referendum to count. Or will our politicians and pundits tell us with a straight face that changing how one electoral body is made up is such a big change that it requires 60% support, but abolishing one body altogether only requires 50%?

I used to support abolishing the Senate. At this point I'm happy to leave well enough alone, but most of all I don't care a whole lot one way or the other. As long as we don't elect it, I'll be OK with whatever happens.


  • I waver on what to do with the Senate--between all three positions. What's your opposition to electing it about?

    By Blogger Idealistic Pragmatist, at 6:55 AM  

  • Mainly I just don't see the need for the parts of the country which happen to be surrounded by the more tightly drawn provincial lines on the map to be given more power versus those who live within the more loosely drawn lines, especially considering Canada is already arguably the most decentralized country (or one of the most, anyway) in the world.

    Maybe an elected senate wouldn't have that effect, but I suspect it would.

    Overall, it probably wouldn't be a huge problem to have an elected senate. I suppose it might take more work to get bills passed, but that could be a good thing in some cases. More elections would probably drive turnout down (although total number of votes cast per person would rise). The smaller number of Senators would probably mean a bias towards wealthier candidates, and a bigger influence of money on the political system, if U.S. experience is anything to go by. Tough to estimate the overall impact really, it seems to work OK for Australia having an elected Senate, although I'm sure they'd be fine without it too. The more I think about it, the more I tend to think it's a non-issue.

    Which is fine, as nothing is likely to happen on this file beyond empty talk anyway.

    By Blogger Declan, at 8:54 PM  

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