From Rampart to Rubble

Mr Gordon Gibson in his 2004 essay “Challenges In Senate Reform” underlined that one of the original intentions for the Senate was for it to “be the Canadian analogue to the House of Lords”.

At the time of Confederation, Canada did not have a “Noble class” which led Sir John A. to state “that these Senate worthies would surely be representative of the best of the colonies, “men of the people, from the people” ”. Gibson continues that Sir John A. argued “that these people would be drawn from “the best men in the country” and that this was guaranteed because the lower house and the whole world would condemn the appointments otherwise.”

Today, Sir John A’s prediction has turned into fact with the recent suite of Senate scandals (Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy, Mac Harb, and Pamela Wallin).

The impact on public opinion has led to a large portion of the electorate to be in favor of abolishing the Senate. Each of the provinces, territories and federal government has laid out their positions on Senate reform and abolition in the frame of the hearing surrounding the Supreme Court reference on Senate reform.

If the tenents of abolishment win the day, the only “rampart to elected dictatorship” will have been turned to rubble.

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