If the Conservative government can't get its planned reforms to the Canadian Senate passed as soon as possible it will simply move to abolish the chamber altogether, says Steven Fletcher, the minister of state for democratic reform.Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and call BS on that one.
I’ve argued before that the Conservative commitment to Senate reform has been truly half-asses at best, nibbling away around the edges in a way that will actually only create a worse situation: an elected Senate, unafraid of using its power, but with the regional inequities entrenched. The only real way to reform the Senate is through constitutional reform with the provinces. That’s a process the Conservatives have shown absolutely no appetite for.
Now, Stephen Fletcher is threatening to abolish the Senate if his nibbling, possibly unconstitutional “reforms” aren’t passed? Please. Does he think he can just abolish the Senate by fiat? Actually, given the understanding the Conservatives have demonstrated for our democratic process, maybe he does. But no, abolishing the Senate would require constitutional reform and amendment in negotiation with the provinces.
Do the Conservatives seriously expect us to believe they have the appetite for entering constitutional negotiations with the provinces to abolish the Senate when they have been unwilling to use this process to usher in the meaningful sort of Senate reform they CLAIM to stand for? Please.
Keep huffing and puffing, gentlemen.
And in the mean time, the Conservatives will demonstrate their commitment to Senate reform tomorrow by sending one of their top fundraisers to patronage heaven. Why, Reformers? Because the Liberals do it too. Preston must be so proud. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers