Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back and more mediocre than ever!

Since the election, I’ve been on a bit of a blogging hiatus. My spirit was kind of broken by a good man’s misfortune, and life was just a bit busier overall. Nevertheless, I have been keeping touch with the goings on north of the 417.

What has been on my mind lately is the senate appointments. Not because I think Harper’s appointments are questionable (which they are), but just because it brought the debate on triple E senate back into the spotlight. Well, triple E is probably the best prescription in theory, given that we live in a democratic society. However, I think people need to calm down a little about the whole thing. First of all, to actually make an amendment with any real staying power it would have to be done via the Constitution. I don’t know any pundit or political scientist who thinks it’s a good idea to open up a Constitutional debate – at least not given the recent context. This is especially true because we don’t really have any super strong national party to champion this or any issue across the whole country. This would make the whole thing messy and destructive.

Then if the senate were equal, it probably wouldn’t be agreed to by the smaller provinces. And I think rightfully so for them. The senate isn’t proportional. Just like the US where it gives states an equal voice, the senate in Canada gives regions an equal voice. For sure that can be tweaked, but I’m not sure if there’s an agreement that can be forged to everyone’s pleasing.

The other factor is political will, and I don’t mean from ideological politicos. I mean from the voters. I don’t think people care about the senate enough to think about triple E senate before they go to bed frankly. Yes, that’s not usually a good excuse, but this isn’t a matter of equity or human rights. It’s a matter of political systems, and people can carry on just fine with the current one. Right Stephen? If they really object, then there’s also the case that making a change now wouldn’t really be the will of the entire people. We’ve seen declining voter turnouts, surveys showing that Canadians don’t even understand our political system, and more than likely many people can’t even name their MP. People can barely muster the time to vote on one election, what add another round into the mix? Given the political IQ of the country, and the fact that this is a precarious debate in a time when there are far more important things to worry about, I think leaving the senate the way it is might be ok for the immediate and medium term. Besides, the current incarnation got Mike Duffy off TV didn’t it?

oh yea.. bonne annee


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