There is much recent talk of what our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, may do (possibly today), regarding the abolition of the Senate. It will be interesting to see what Harper announces.
I am generally in favour of maintaining a reformed, elected red chamber, that will be politically responsive, where the current legislative body is not; however, I am surprised at how many who previously complained variously, that Harper should not have sought direction from the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCofC”) on this issue and who have repeatedly and consistently criticized each and every step the PM has taken to effect meaningful Senate reform, now cry that he has taken too long to deliver meaningful change.
According to that very SCofC reference case, the Justices clearly stated: “As for Senate abolition, it requires the unanimous consent of the Senate, the House of Commons, and the legislative assemblies of all Canadian provinces.”.
As you may appreciate, that is an extraordinarily high standard, and one that we have seen previously, play out very badly. In essence, the amending formula provides a veto to each of the enumerated parties, which results in a formula that acts as a barrier to change.
What I am hopeful for, is a constitutionally valid, work -around to this amending impediment, and one that will achieve the goal stated above, namely: a reformed, elected red chamber, that will be politically responsive!
Time will tell.