Reforming the Canadian Senate

Essay by The Court JesterUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 1997

download word file, 12 pages 5.0

Downloaded 60 times

Canada is a country who's future is in question. Serious political issues have recently overshadowed economic concerns. Constitutional debate over unity and Quebec's future in the country is in the heart of every Canadian today. Continuing conflicts concerning Aboriginal self-determination and treatment are reaching the boiling point. How can Canada expect to pull herself out of this seemingly bottomless pit? Are Canadians looking at the right people to lay their blame? In the 1992 Referendum, 'The Charlottetown Accord' addressed all of these issues, giving Canadians the opportunity to finally let the dead horse be - but oh, if it were that simple. A red faced Brian Mulroney pontificated that a vote against the accord would be one against Canada. Canadians would essentially be expressing the desire for Quebec to remain excluded from the constitution. How could the Right-Honorable Mulroney expect anyone to vote on a document that contained so much more than simply the issue of Quebec sovereignty? Ironically, hidden deep within 'The Charlottetown Accord,' was the opportunity for Canadians to make a difference; to change the way the government ran, giving less power to the politicians and more to the people.

This was the issue of Senate Reform.

Why is Senate Reform such an important issue? An argument could be made that a political body, which has survived over one hundred years in Canada, must obviously work, or it would have already been reformed. This is simply not true, and this becomes apparent when analyzing the current Canadian Senate.

In its inception, the Senate was designed to play an important role in the Government of Canada, representing various regions of the federation. Quebec, Ontario, the maritimes and the west were allotted twenty-four Senators each. Considered to be the heart of the federal system, the Senate was to be a...