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Housekeeping

“We cannot wait for others to fix our problems. We should not be seeking or waiting for direction, blessing, or approval from the House of Commons, from party leaders, or from the Prime Minister’s Office. We have serious responsibilities and important responsibilities we need to own.”

-Senator Doug Black

THE EXPENSE SCANDAL THAT HAS ENGULFED THE SENATE COULD LIKELY HAVE BEEN AVOIDED had certain measures been in place, including more stringent rules concerning residency. All that a host of transparency-enhancing and accountability-boosting reforms need to become a reality is the will of Parliamentarians.

Pros:

  • Enhancing transparency, tightening residency requirements, and doing a better job of vetting potential senators could have saved Canadians the current scandal
  • Potentially allows senators to redeem themselves in the eyes of Canadians by being part of the solution
  • Avoids the pitfalls that would surely emerge along a constitutional route to reform

Cons:

  • Doesn’t introduce democratic mechanisms to select senators and encourage real accountability
  • Would do little ultimately to enhance the Senate’s democratic legitimacy and ability to act as an effective check on executive power
  • Likely doesn’t go anywhere near far enough in the eyes of fed-up Canadians

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WATCH SENATOR DOUG BLACK ARGUE FOR SENATE-LED REFORM:

READ SENATOR BLACK’S SEVEN-POINT PLAN FOR SENATE REFORM (PDF)

WATCH DR. TOM FLANAGAN MAKE THE CASE FOR AN APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE:

READ DR. FLANAGAN’S SPEECH MAKING THE CASE FOR AN APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE (PDF)

WATCH SENATOR BETTY UNGER RECOUNT HER EXPERIENCE PUSHING FOR REFORM FROM WITHIN:

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MAKE YOUR CHOICE