Senate debacle a reminder something needs to be done

If judges rule in favour of reformation, and vote against abolition, the big question is: “Who will present the reformation platform?

The Senate question has been submitted to the Supreme Court for a decision centred around reform or possibly abolition, depending on the decision handed down. The decision will be made one way or the other.

If by chance these judges rule in favour of reformation, and vote against abolition, the big question is: “Who will present the reformation platform?” It can’t be the Supreme Court as it is an appointed legal interpretative body and not a law making one.

It certainly won’t  be the Senate itself. Why would senators want to censure themselves? The answer: “They wouldn’t!” That leaves the House of Commons members, some of whom selected and appointed these senators. How will a consensus be arrived at as to what to do?  The answer is almost academic, I think.  It won’t happen! Now what?

Given that there is approval for either reformation or abolition, who, without special interest or bias, would be setting  the infrastructure of reform or abolition?

True, there are models to pattern things after. Our neighbours to the south have a system that appears to be working, although not perfect.  Their senators are elected and operate under a certain set of rules.  They must perform their duties as promised or they face not being re-elected when their term is up.

Some terms are six years. Some face elections every two years with congressional representatives while others face an election every four years with the presidential elections. Although not perfect, it is certainly more workable than what we have at present. Accountability would seem to be the watchword in the U.S. Not so here!

Abolition of the Senate could be a possibility. However, after meeting Constitutional requirements and given the go ahead to abolish this organ of government, what are the possible outcomes?

Would the house truly be the drivers of the country? Could a struggle for party control or economic philosophy be in the offing? Many possibilities for a change of political direction and infrastructure arise. One way or another, these issues must be dealt with in an expeditious manner otherwise what is will be the order of the day and we will be no further ahead and innuendoes or scandals will continue.

The answer is not a simple one. First, a decision to reform or abolish the Senate must be arrived at following Constitutional guidelines be they court driven, House of Commons driven or voter referendum driven. If none of these choices is exercised, we will preserve the old adage, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got!”

“And the beat goes on!”

Ron Barillaro

Penticton