Canadian Senate Politics in All

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

This unaccountability also extends to cronyism within the Senate. According to Wherry (2013), even the most idealistic of new appointees fall into the seduction of providing rewards to friends and family. Senator Harper, for example, has provided senatorships to major party donors, his former communications advisors, and others who appear unqualified for heir positions, including former newsman Mike Duffy. Indeed, it appears that Harper's seven years on the Senate has eroded his idealism to the point that little remains except corruption and a maintenance of the status quo.

As for the proposal to reform rather than altogether dissolving the Senate, this side of the debate share prominence with the proposal to abolish it. There are several pertinent questions around the reform proposal. First, one must consider the current effectiveness of and need for he Canadian Senate. It has been pointed out above that neither measures very high within Canada. The Senate has proved itself not only outdated in terms of its significantly non-democratic principles, but also ineffective in terms of actual prominence on the political scene. Hence, if reform were to be effected, the fundamental functioning of the Senate will have to be addressed. This would mean the wholesale reform of the entire system that is the basis of the Senate's work. The time and funding required would likely be enormous.

The other major concern is the fundamental corruption and cronyism within the Senate. Not only are senators appointed on a fundamentally non-democratic basis; once they do enter the Canadian Senate, it is as if he forces of seduction do their collective work, creating a group of ineffective and self-serving individuals rather than legitimate politicians functioning to promote current political thinking in the public. Indeed, there is very little to check and balance the actions of particular senators, all of whom appear to almost openly use public funding for their own gain. Furthermore, cronyism is almost at the order of the day. An extreme example of loyalty within the senate is the official who continued to serve despite her rapidly progressive submission to Alzheimer's disease. Again, reform would constitute eroding almost the entire Senate to replace those who have proven corrupt with more "honorable" individuals, who themselves may let the power and prestige of their positions corrupt them.

In short, reform would be an intense, time-consuming and expensive process. Furthermore, due to the human element that would necessarily be involved, there is no guarantee of success following the reform process. The likelihood that the entire Canadian Senate would simply relapse into its former ways is high, which would mean time and funding wasted that could have been better applied elsewhere.

As a final point, one might consider the fact of the Canadian Senate's function. Currently, as mentioned, it does not serve a major political purpose. If reform were to be effective, the Senate will need to reemerge as a more prominent player in the political purposes and viewpoints of the country. Again, this will open further possibilities for corruption, dysfunction, and general ineffective management.

In conclusion, I tend towards agreement with Macfarlane (2013), how proposes that abolition is probably the simplest and most effective course when considering the future of he Canadian Senate. In its current form, it serves only to accumulate corruption charges and embarrassment. It does not serve or indeed share he democratic viewpoints of its citizenry. Hence, the best way forward is to abolish the Canadian Senate to promote and preserve the democratic integrity of the country.

References

De Souza, M. (2013), Jul. 23). Abolish the senate because reform is 'never going to happen': Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall. National Post. Retrieved from: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/07/23/abolish-the-senate-because-reform-is-never-going-to-happen-saskatchewan-premier-brad-wall/

Macfarlane, E. (2013, Jul. 22). What do we really want to do with the Senate? Macleans. Retrieved from: http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/07/22/what-do-we-really-want-to-do-with-the-senate/

Thomas, G. (2013, Jul 29). If Canadians vote to abolish the Senate, politicians must listen. The Star. Retrieved from: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/07/29/if_canadians_vote_to_abolish_the_senate_politicians_must_listen.html

Wherry, A. (2013, Mar. 8). Why the Senate should be abolished. Macleans. Retrieved from: http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/03/08/why-the-senate-should-be-abolished/