COLUMN: Solve this dilemma through referendum

Like my garage, the Canadian Senate is in dire need of a thorough cleansing...

Like my garage, the Canadian Senate is in dire need of a thorough cleansing. The difference being, once cleaned, my garage can be useful. The senate, on the other hand, in its current configuration will remain purposeless, save providing a financial haven for political hacks.

What is even more compelling, from a political point of view, is that what is going on in that house of appointed persons of pernicious proclivity threatens to bring down a government.

Yay, say some who are disinclined to support conservatism. However, the insidious nature of an appointed senate is that no matter which party is in power in the House of Commons, it can and likely will be held to ransom by the shenanigans of those who inhabit the upper house.

An appointed senate, in Canada’s ‘democratic’ system, is based on the British parliamentary system that has the House of Lords, wealthy titled people delegated by birthright to ensure Britain’s ‘ruling class’ do not relinquish all power to the plebeians of the proletariat.

In their opinion, democracy was acceptable only when the power of privilege allows it to work.

Canada, of course, having neither hereditary lords nor a constitution, came up with next best thing – senators by appointment. In the original inception, having as part of government a house of second sober thought was perhaps a good thing. After all, political parties tend to pass laws that will, along with doing what’s best for “the people,” benefit them. Having an overseer to ensure all that ensues from parliament is in everyone’s best interests does have merit.

However, it was not long before governing political parties discovered that appointing the ‘right’ people to the senate meant their decisions would have precedence over their political opponents.

They also discovered that those appointments could be given as rewards rather than for the ability to provide that sober second thought.

And thus, we have what is facing our nation today, the furor and fandangos over the spending antics of those who have allegedly abused, in many cases grossly, their privilege.

What makes this even worse, aside from senators essentially being appointed for life, is that they have the ability to quash any proposed legislation that would control or, in a perfect world, get rid of them.

In other words, the people must take on the power of government to make changes, and the only way that appears to me is to have a nation-wide referendum on whether or not to keep the senate, or at the very least ensure that its members are elected.

Should the federal government have the courage to present a referendum on such, the senate would not, or should not, have the ability to say yes or no to such action, and would have to abide by the results of said referendum.

The referendum could have but three questions: the status quo, an elected senate, or abolishment.

I see little reason to choose any but the last, because over the years I have found, like the many alliterated ‘10-dollar words’ used above, there is little purpose in having a senate, other than for the pomposity of purpose.

So I suggest that across this nation we pressure our Members of Parliament to provide the opportunity to say we’ve had enough of the senate and the financial abuse, real or imagined, of many of its members.

You might, in telling them, point out that it could save their jobs!


Just Posted

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

A program of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation enables patients to thank their health-care workers.
Fraser Valley program enables patients to say thanks to their health-care workers

Philip Harris Grateful Patient Program offered through health care foundation

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read