Political changes needed

While reforming the Senate has some merit, it would be a waste of time and resources if the reformed Senate could not play a more meaningful role in the governance of our country.

While reforming the Senate has some merit, it would be a waste of time and resources if the reformed Senate could not play a more meaningful role in the governance of our country.

If senators were elected by the people instead of being appointed by the prime minister of the day, they would become accountable to the people, not the prime minister.

The Senate would then be able to perform as a buffer against radical swings in government policy, providing a much-needed balance of power between and the Senate and the House of Commons.

To ‘allow’ the people to nominate a list of candidates for the prime minister to choose from is meaningless tinkering with the appointing process and has absolutely nothing to do with Senate reform.

What we really need is a Senate that can provide long-term stability in an erratic political environment produced by the colonial electoral system we insist on using to elect our politicians.

First-Past-The-Post consistently produces minority governments representing 30 to 40 per cent of the popular vote while awarding the governing party a disproportionate number of seats in the legislatures, resulting in majority rule by a minority of the electorate.

If we chose to abolish the Senate we must have an electoral system like proportional representation, that consistently will produce stable democratic governments that represent the majority of the people.

If we just want to ‘democratize’ our political system all we have to do is ban confidence votes, ban party discipline, and remove lying politicians from public office.

Andy Thomsen

 

Summerland