The decision by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to place a moratorium on the appointment of senators is nothing more than a cheap political ploy to divert the attention of the electorate from the scandal-ridden upper house as we approach the up-coming fall election.
It is a ploy that will only backfire as, since his promise in 2006, he has appointed 59 senators, has endured a ‘neutralizing’ ruling by the Supreme Court, ‘ignored’ one cheque for $90,000 that he probably knew about and has seen 31 charges levied against one Conservative-appointed senator who was one of his party’s outstanding fundraisers.
In a parliamentary monarchy, such as we have here in Canada, our bicameral legislature is based on the English system of one house that would represent the ‘aristocracy’ with the other representing the ‘commoners’.
In Canada’s development of its parliamentary monarchy, we have copied the English governance structure but with the ‘upper’ house members being appointed by the governing party as a result of services to the governing party after it attained power or while it was in opposition.
It has been thought of as the body giving sober second thought, which, of course, has its own implication of the sobriety of the lower house members – Sir John A. Macdonald in particular.
This concept is grossly out-of-date as we should not have a system of governance that is based on having a figurehead whose ancestral roots were based on the dominance of an individual and his or her family premised on leadership that was attained by either physical force or coercion with aristocrats kowtowing in one way shape or form to the monarch of the day in order to further their own wealth and/or power.
The American bicameral congress is premised on representing the electorate in the upper house based on equality of intra-national areas of governance (states) – regardless of the size or population of any one state….something that has not been endorsed here in Canada as can be readily seen by the population of provinces and their number of senators.
Ours is a system that reflects the acquiescence of our ancestral politicians to the electorate of Lower Canada, a term which does not reflect the geographical position of the two early provinces to each other but of the pseudo-aristocratic attitude of the Anglo-Canadians of the mid-nineteenth century of Upper Canada towards the Franco-Canadians.
We need to do away with the current premise of bicameralism and adopt the American republic style….which should also include doing away with the monarchy which is nothing more than a hangover from a hierarchical society of yesteryear and that is something that Canada purports not to be touting its cultural mosaic.
I hope that people have not forgotten, amid the constant repetition of Conservative Party-paid ads against Justin Trudeau, that his election campaign advisers have pulled their TV ad which shows Mr. Harper leaving his Langevin office and turning out the lights.
That action is very ironic as we will find out after the election.