Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Question to our Dipper friends...

You guys are now the Official Opposition in the House of Commons. Congrats. Your campaign was awesome and you did a good job, though please, please don't let people like Alexandre Boulerice steer your party towards supporting Quebec sepearatism.

Here's a problem, however: you're only the Official Opposition in the House of Commons, one of two of Canada's legislative chambers. In the Senate, you have zero representation. None. In fact, in the Senate it's like you don't exist at all; it's just the Conservatives, the Liberals, and a smattering of independents.

Now, this may not matter right now, because after all, Harper's Conservatives have a majority in both chambers. However, going with the assumption that, by the time 2015 rolls around, you expect to be in government, how exactly do you plan on, well, you know, governing, if you don't even have a foothold in the Other Place?

Think of it this way: by the time 2015 rolls around, assuming everyone retires at the mandatory age there will be 65 Conservative Senators, 37 Liberals, and 3 Independents. If you have a government, and given the Conservative Party's penchant for using the Senate to block HoC legislation, what are you going to do?

I know you guys are against a Senate, however, you must realize by now that the likelihood of you scrapping it is next to nil without a constitutional amendment, not likely to fly. So now that you have some responsibility, you have some choices to make. And given that you want to keep the Senate's sway over your government down, you do need to make a choice. Depending upon the scenario, here they are:

a) assuming Harper sets up his pseudo-elected Senate, you are either going to have to run in these elections or abstain; the former giving you a chance, the latter ceding the Upper House to the, erm, "corporatists."

b) assuming Harper's lackey's actually retire after eight years, appoint new Senators between 2015-2020 or risk losing quorum and therefore stalling the legislative process

Between 2015-2020, assuming the Harper lackey's step down, there will be enough vacancies to take away the Harper majority in the Upper Chamber. Question is: will you, if you're in government, then take the opportunity to appoint Senators, NDP or otherwise, or will you just leave the chamber alone? If unable to scrap it, how would an NDP government be represented in the Senate? Will you ally yourselves with the Liberals?

Questions, questions...


  1. Well the Senate is just a place for party bagmen, and old warn-out warhorses, so scrapping it is such a good idea. Of course that constitutional amendment might not be that hard to do, considering how many provinces also agree it's long past its best before date.

    And the public - well after seeing that those old guys & girls try to jib their expenses, don't show up and where some even live elsewhere, won't be hard to see that public opinion putting pressure on getting rid of that outdated throwback to the good old days where it wasn't good for them, but just for those elites.

  2. Yeah, that didn't answer my question. Got anyone better up to bat?

    As well, unless the NDP commits to finding a new formula so Quebec and the Atlantic provinces keep their over-representation - contrary to your PR stands - then the Senate abolishment is a no-go. After all, it is by a Constitutional right that PEI gets four HoC seats, the same as it has in the Senate. They'll veto the entire thing.

    Oh, a rock and a hard place.