Harper Appoints elected Senator amid Opposition objections

Stephen Harper announced in Question Period today that he would appoint Alberta farmer Bert Brown to the Senate when Liberal Senator Dan Hayes retires this summer.

Brown, a long-time advocate for Senate reform, was elected twice in Alberta, most recently in 2004 as a one of four ‘Senator-in-waiting’ from the province.

Brown will be Canada’s second elected Senator, following Stan Waters who was appointed by Brian Mulroney in 1989 after being elected Senator-in-waiting in Alberta. No other province has elected Senators-in-waiting.

19 thoughts on “Harper Appoints elected Senator amid Opposition objections

  1. The liberals always use the constitution as a scapegoat to try to make their arguments valid. Dion, B.C. and Alberta would get MORE senators under Harper’s plan, and for once canadians could choose their senators. There is NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING wrong we having an elected senate, but in this clip Dion sounds like an elected senate means the end of Canada, he’s just scared because once we do get an elected senate, the Liberals will FINALLY be tossed out!

  2. Radical-wing

    that is a good idea, you should write a letter to Harpie.

    I think we need to have the Senate, then the Bloc would haev no reason to exist as an elected senate would address regional (especially as Quebec is its own region) issues and provincials issues as it was designed to do….just need elected officals is all.

  3. There’s one simple, effective change that could be achieved without any need for legislation or constitutional reform: let the Governor-General appoint Senators on the advice of the Provincial Premiers, not the Prime Minister. It would not be any more “democratic”, but it would spread out the power of patronage and represent a broader cross-section.

  4. We’re not talking about proportional representation for the Commons Jack, we’re talking about the SENATE, it’s a whole different room, and position. Dion says it would be bad for alberta and B.C., so Stephane, having more representation in the senate is BAD for alberta and B.C. or is it just that Liberals wouldn’t always have a majority in the senate like you want them to. And another thing, why is it that whenever the liberals are threatened the mention or bring in the constitution or charter

  5. Also abolishing the senat would be a resipy for disaster we need the senat so that we have people to revew the proposed bills for a second sober thoght and the senat sould represent the interasts of the provences

  6. i personaly think that we keep the senate, and that we have senate elections with the people that are choson canadats based on sertin merits by each party, then elect them to represent the provenses

  7. LOL, is there anything that the other parties do agree with the PM on. Shame, crying shame. There is too much party loyalty and not enough loyalty and/or faith to the elected leader (PM). True democracy is not just about winning elections you know.

  8. “why would the liberals oppose this, they are such a bunch of corrupt aholes”

    Because opening up the idea of an elected Senate means opening up the entire Constitution for scrutiny, which eventually leads to reopening the Quebec issue. It’s currently just not worth raking the country through the coals over Quebec, again, in order to reform the Senate. I voted yes towards an elected Senate in the poll because one day I’d like to see such an eventuality, however not before dealing with Quebec’s place in Confederation.

  9. Yeldarb4: “My preference would be to abolish the Senate, as they have done in Australia.”

    Bullshit. Australia has a senate elected on a system of proportional representation. Its role is similar to that of the Senate under the British Parliamentary system which Australia and Canada share.

    I am no expert on Australian affairs (clearly, an attribute that we share), but to the best of my knowledge there is little controversy over the relevance of the nation’s Senate.

    Next time, check your facts.

  10. abolish the senate?!
    1. We have a constitution which I will die to protect
    2. the house of commons owes it’s voters and will thus think in terms of what pleases the living; the unelected senate has no such dept and so may think of the best interested of future generations
    3. two houses makes it more difficult to pass new laws; since people are used to the laws we currently have it is best not to pass new ones if they aren’t noticably better.

  11. Personally, I think we need one of two things: 1) reform the Senate or 2) Abolish it. Personally, I think a Triple-E Senate, combined with an MMP (Mixed-Member Proportional) system in the House of Commons is what we truly need!

    This way, provinces big and small, in addition to minorities like the Greens, would be represented in both chambers!

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