Deferred Demolition

“The risk of continuing to pursue reform is that we end up with another 30 years of the status quo—which almost no one wants. But the risk of embracing abolition is that we will never get a reformed Senate, which almost everyone would prefer… Put a gun to the head of the status quo: you have ten years to achieve reform…or it’s lights out in the Red Chamber.” 

-Dr. Ted Morton, University of Calgary

PROVIDE A TRUE IMPETUS FOR REFORM BY HOLDING A NATIONAL REFERENDUM ON ABOLISHING THE SENATE as part of the 2015 federal election. Rather than abolishing the Senate immediately, however, the referendum would postpone abolition until 2025. United by their shared distain of the status quo, reformers and abolitionists could come together in a majority coalition to do away with the unelected, ineffective Senate one way or another.

Pros:

  • Allows Canadians to have their say on the Senate’s future
  • Unites reformers and abolitionists in common cause against the status quo
  • A reformed Senate is better than no Senate, but no Senate is better than the Status Quo

Cons:

  • Serious reform involves opening the Constitution which could pit the provinces against one another with irreconcilable demands and differing expectations
  • If reform efforts fail, Canada could become the only federal country of consequence in the world with a unicameral legislature
  • Alternately, Canadians could vote en masse for deferred abolition only to have their choice disregarded by a failed constitutional amendment

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READ DR. TED MORTON’S CASE FOR DEFERRED ABOLITION (PDF)

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MAKE YOUR CHOICE