06/22/2011 12:43 EDT | Updated 08/22/2011 05:12 EDT

NDP MP Pat Martin Calls For Cuts To Senate Budget

Flickr: scazon

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- OTTAWA - Forget about reforming the Senate, an NDP MP wants to starve the upper chamber.

Pat Martin says he plans to use a procedure during a budget vote on Wednesday that would force MPs to vote specifically on the Senate's funding.

The Commons approves $60 million in Senate spending annually, roughly half of its total operating budget.

Martin says the Senate is unworthy of Canada's democracy and has become nothing more than a repository for partisan operatives.

His party is calling for a national referendum on what to do about the Senate, but the Conservative government has rejected that proposal.

The NDP supports completely abolishing the Senate — a move that would require amending the Canadian Constitution.