The Canadian Senate

We have read about it. We have heard about it. Do we really need Grandpa Richard to tell us more?

My initial thought when this issue started to get big is that we should get rid of the Senate. However, when I looked into the issue deeper, I realized that it had its role and when working well it was needed. It provides for sober second thought on the bills that Parliament passes. Quality senators spend quality time looking at parliamentary bills and even researching them. In some cases the bills are sent back to Parliament for fine-tuning.

The spending scandal that has directed has caused many of us to say get rid of it. I am now thinking that we should fix it. I see two problems.

The first is that senators are appointed. Not only that, they are appointed to a particular side of the Senate as either liberals or conservatives. I would prefer to see a neutral Senate. Not one that is along party lines. We should consider, in fact reconsider, electing senators. And instead of giving them their jobs for life they should have them for a specific period of time. Perhaps five years.

The second point I would make is that the spending scandal has suggested that moral compasses do not always work. Thus, we should tighten up the rules. And perhaps even in Parliament as well. There was the one liberal member of Parliament who voluntarily posted expenses for all her constituents to be able to see. She was chastised by her party’s leadership. Probably blackballed.

Our Prime Minister was quoted as saying that the Senate governs itself and thus he could not get involved. He is the one that has been appointing lots of senators lately. He is involved.

And that is what Grandpa Richard Speaks today.