05.31.2011 11:49 AM

…meanwhile, here’s what PC leader Tim Hudak has to say on killing the Senate

18 Comments

  1. Greg says:

    Why are you putting up a CAT scan of Tim’s head?

  2. Cath says:

    Benzie’s on the job WK – reform but not abolition. Pretty consistent. Is that a dustball?

    “@robertbenzie
    Robert Benzie
    This will get Ottawa atwitter — @timhudak supports Senate reform but not abolition. Triple E pamphlets at the printer. #onpoli #voteon”

    • Warren says:

      It’s a fur ball. And Timmy’s going to choke on it!

      Metaphorically speaking, of course.

      • Cath says:

        oh, a fur ball. Ok. Sorry, but I just couldn’t find quotes from Dalton McGuinty pre-Harper gov’t on abolishing the Senate. What “years” were you referring to in your response to me on the previous thread when you said he’s been saying it for years? It’s pretty obscure – I got tired of looking.

        • Warren says:

          Please don’t ask me to do your research again. I like you, but I don’t like it when people are being delibetately obtuse. This, for example, took me ten seconds to locate.

          National News
          Ontario Premier calls for abolition of Senate; McGuinty offers solution to ‘inequity’ in Red Chamber
          KAREN HOWLETT AND BRIAN LAGHI
          With a report from Gloria Galloway
          687 words
          3 March 2006
          The Globe and Mail
          GLOB
          A1
          English
          All material copyright Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc. or its licensors. All rights reserved.
          TORONTO, OTTAWA — Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says he would reform the Senate by abolishing it altogether.

          Ontario is the country’s most populous province, with 40 per cent of Canada’s total — yet it has only 22 per cent of the Senate seats, Mr. McGuinty said.

          “So to elect senators in Canada under the existing system would serve both to entrench and exacerbate an existing inequity,” he said. “I think it’s time for us to abolish the Senate in Canada.”

          Mr. McGuinty spoke to reporters last night after his provincial Liberal Party’s annual fundraising dinner in downtown Toronto. A day earlier, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had said he wants to see Canadians electing senators by the time of the next federal election, with or without the provinces’ co-operation.

          While Mr. McGuinty said his first choice would be abolishing the Senate, he said his second would be to have representation by population.

          “But if we did that, then we’d have two rep-by-population houses and one would be redundant,” he said.

          • Cath says:

            thanks. I’m not as obtuse as you suggest, and hopefully adding to the discussion here.

            but the Libs. weren’t in power in Mar. 2006, but McGuinty had been Prem. for a few years before that.

            I also found this http://www.yorku.ca/ylife/2007/09-Sept/09-17/media.htm and if you scroll down a bit to where it talks about the ball of muck (never mind a hairball) this will stir up.

            Aren’t you satisfied with Benzie’s tweet info.?…..(now THAT’S an obtuse question because obviously you’re not because you’re still on this topic:-)

  3. WDM says:

    Sometimes it’s best for politicians to say nothing at all, because if you’re a loss for words you might start complaining about office space on the Hill. Hopefully whoever thought that leak to the Globe was a good idea should be stuck in a supply closet without a blackberry.

  4. W.B. says:

    Here’s one. In the deepest recesses of his hard, cold, loyalty deficient, chess playing heart who would Harper rather have at Queen’sPark: McGuinty or Hudak??

  5. Jim says:

    Best. Blog post. Ever.

    Now, let’s turn our attention to the real October threat. Horwath. She has the right key messages. She appeals to the union/working folk side of her party, not the limo socialists. She credible. She’s tough. And she has a personality. Flat Andrea doesn’t exist. Plus, the NDP is now energized in Ontario following the Federal election. She will steal critical Liberal votes and take ridings or allow Hudak to squeak through in some ridings. She will do well in hard hit urban centres with a strong manufacturing base (Hamilton, Oshawa, Windsor) and will do well in rural ridings. Bob Rae’s legacy will hurt her but she’s not a Rae NDPer and Ontarians will be able to tell the difference. If McGuinty is serious about another majority, he needs to look to his left.

  6. Joey Rapaport says:

    Hudak 2 busy following Jets coverage!

  7. hitfan says:

    Abolishing the Senate is probably the easiest option. I lean more towards the senate reform camp, but I recognize that it is politically impossible to accomplish it.

    For Senate reform, I’d get rid of the current constitution’s distribution of Senate seats by each province. Alberta and BC get only 6 senators while a much smaller province, New Brunswick, gets 10.

    Some have argued for each province getting an equal number of Senators for each of them, but if it were up to me, I’d have just 100 elected Senators elected in Canada “at large”.

    Have Senate elections on fixed dates every 4 years. 50 Senators would get elected for an 8 year term. Parties draw up a list of candidates. Create a threshold of 5 percent as a minimum requirement for representation in the Senate. So, if a Senate election had the following results:

    Conservatives 34%
    Liberals 18%
    New Democrat 26%
    Bloc 5%
    Green 12%
    Christian Heritage Party 1%
    Communist 1%
    Marxist Leninist 1%
    Rhinoceros 1%
    Heritage Front 1%

    The Senate ballot will allow a second preferred choice to be transferred to another party if their first choice doesn’t meet the 5% threshold. So let’s assume that CHP + HF goes Conservative, ML + C is split evenly between NDP + Green and the Rhinos, being the gadflys they are, go for the Bloc:

    Conservatives 36%
    Liberals 18%
    New Democrat 27%
    Bloc 6%
    Green 13%

    This would translate into (2 percent = 1 senator)

    Conservatives 18 + 1 senators (+1 explained below).
    Liberals 9 senators
    New Democrat 13 senators (rounded down from 13.5)
    Bloc 3 senators
    Green 6 senators (rounded down from 6.5)

    Since you can’t have “half” senators, there will be a rule for senate elections that states that whoever is the top vote-getter in the senate election will get whatever leftover “fraction” senators added to themselves. So the Conservatives would get 19 senators.

    I think this would be the most fair way to reform the Senate. There would be no regional disparities, and if Alberta + Ontario want more representation in the upper chamber, all they have to do is turn out and vote to influence the results of the senate election.

    The 5 percent threshold is a fair one to weed out the fringe parties, and the fringe voters can transfer their votes to a second preferred choice as well to give them a chance for their vote to be represented in the final result.

    Of course, it will be mathematically impossible to have a working majority, so the first party in the Senate would have to make deals and compromises with other senators to get stuff done.

    • hitfan says:

      I realize that many fringe parties would be fighting for ballot access. And to avoid an unnecessary long ballot, the threshold for representation in the Senate election ballot could be as follows:

      -parties with at least one elected member in the House
      -parties who have raised a certain amount of funds (to prove their support, so an party similar to how Reform had emerged could make legitimate claim for senate ballot access).

      But there would be room for a write-in spot on the ballot. Some dismiss write-in ballots as unworkable, but a recent election in Alaska had a write-in candidate win the election. There were some legal wranglings regarding mis-spelled names, but it actually worked pretty well.

      I guess I’m an OCD when it comes to speculation on how to reform the Senate… heh.

  8. Phil in London says:

    I am not that opposed to abolishing the senate but I would first like to see a real attempt at reforming it so it is a true sober second thought. I think elections could actually give people a check and balance where they could vote one way in the senate and the other in the HOC especially if these elections were to occur during provincial elections. If the senate were proportional representation and the HOC remained first past the post that too could offer a differing between the houses. I also think we need to find a way to make each province equal representation in the senate say ten seats each while allowing the HOC to truly represent by population. A final difference is the term limits proposed which would offer another check and balance preventing ANY PM from leaving a legacy far beyond his term in office.
    It’s a lot to ask though. You have to get past the recent appointments of ANY PM and ask, do we need the senate? If we do then how to reform it? If we don’t then yes let’s do away with it but I think it could be useful – giving regions stronger voices under differing terms then the HOC.

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