Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Senate: Study, Snooze and Spend

Between 2008 and 2013, the Canadian Senate was in session an average of 74 days a year. With other priorities and other careers, most Senators fall short of perfect attendance. Some - including Brazeau, Dallaire, Massicotte, Wallin, Braley and Brown - have fallen well short.

While the Senate's 105 unelected men and women don't spend every day at the office, most do spend lavishly. Here are the illustrations:

Who is Yonah Martin anyhow?

BC Senators are not the best custodians of public money, but not the most profligate either.

Information source: The Toronto Star

If anyone thinks the Senate is a worthy part of our Canadian democracy, this chart provides evidence to the contrary.

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  1. The only good Senate I can imagine is one where each province has an equal number of Senators, each province being equally sovereign in our federation, and proportional representation is used to elect them so I don't have to listen to incessant whining about Single Member Plurality anymore...at least that's the hope: I'd never want pro-rep used to elect the legislature because a tiny proportion might hold the balance of power, giving it punch way above its weight. But in the Senate? Sure, why not?

    Since this is a wish list, I'd also like a few more sovereignties included that have so far missed confederation, like First Nations, except they'd be called provinces, too, and get their equal number of Senate seats (along with their proportional allotment of Commons seats).

    Failing that, I'd like to abolish the Senate. But now it's plainly more than a wish list: it is a fantasy list because that would require a Constitutional Amendment.

    I've always felt when politicians ruminate about Senate reform, they really have something else up their sleeves.

  2. The Senate really does nothing to contribute any more. Maybe, once upon a time , it did. The Senate is now just a place to park party hacks and friends of the government, so that they are looked after by the taxpayer, and quite handsomely at that. Harper needs to get off his butt and fulfill one of his oldest ,and biggest promises, abolish the Senate once and for all. what a cost savings to the taxpayer that would be, and while he's at it, start reducing the number of MPs and ridings. We do not need a " minister " for everything.

    1. ..."a place to park party hacks..."

      It's either that, or Air Canada.

  3. I might add to that comment,get rid of pensions for politicians. You have to be well off or wealthy to run for office, so therefore, you do not need ( or in my opinion, deserve ) a pension.

    1. With a pension plan like the bulk of public servants in BC, most politicians would retire at age 65 with a BC government pension of less than $1,000 a month. Elected officials, many who carry on other careers, should be treated like the majority of public servants when it comes to expenses and fringe benefits.

  4. Getting appointed to the Canadian Senate is like winning the lottery.



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