Critical mass building to abolish senate
History will eventually tell whether this was the week when public fatigue with the Canadian Senate passed the point of no return. What is certain is that the abolition of the upper house is well on the way to being upgraded from a Plan B dearest to the heart of the NDP to the Plan A of a critical mass in the country’s political class — possibly including Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself.
The latest controversies involving a handful of senators potentially playing loose with the upper house’s honour system and — in the case of Patrick Brazeau, also crossing the line into Criminal Code territory — have once again cast a disreputable shadow on an unloved institution.
The fact that Mike Duffy and Brazeau were hand-picked by the current prime minister to sit in the Senate and happen to be Conservative household names only compounds the damage.
But this week’s developments are just the latest in a series that is turning outright abolition from the path less travelled to the preferred route for dealing with a colonial-era federal institution.
Over the past decade Ontario — under a Liberal government — has added its influential voice to those calling for the abolition of the Senate.
At the same time the proabolition NDP has expanded its reach into Atlantic Canada and Quebec. Despite an influx of New Democrats from the two regions of the country that are said to be most attached to the Senate, there is no indication that the party is under pressure to tone down its senate stance. (Source: Toronto Star)