POLITICS

Senate reform ideas proposed by NDP

10/08/2013 10:25 EDT | Updated 12/08/2013 05:12 EST
The NDP is calling for immediate changes to the Senate as Parliament gears up to return next week, including a ban on campaign and fundraising work by senators.

The Official Opposition has long protested the fact that senators are able to campaign and do party work, so the NDP is demanding senators be prohibited from public partisan work.

This would mean senators would no longer join party caucuses, do fundraising or organize for a political party.

While the NDP favours abolishing the upper chamber, it also wants significant reform now in light of the ongoing Senate expense scandal. So the NDP will also call for all senators' wings to be clipped when it comes to travel not directly related to their legislative work. That means personal or party travel benefits for senators would be done.

The NDP also suggests the Senate's own ethics commissioner be eliminated and that the lower and upper chamber share one code of ethics and one ethics commissioner. 

The NDP has been trying to keep the pressure on the Harper government in light of revelations three former Conservative senators abused their Senate travel and housing expenses. Those senators have so far kept their jobs but left the party's caucus to sit as independents.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is widely expected to announce some sort Senate reform in next week's throne speech.