Saskatchewan's Brad Wall has made a surprise and welcome announcement on the status of Canada's Senate.
He announced his support for the federal NDP's position to abolish the Canadian Senate. The National Director of the federal NDP -- Nathan Rotman -- celebrated the surprise endorsement on Facebook -- "What!!!?!? Brad Wall agrees with the NDP on something"
I am not a member of the NDP but I also agree with the Premier on NDP's principled stand when it comes to Canada's senate. The call to abolish the senate is even more clear as it has become a useless body of government institution lately via controversial Senators.
According to Brad Wall, the senate how it is "currently structured leaves no chance for reform, and he'd like to see it disappear altogether. Because of our decentralized federation, because of the role of the province's role in the constitution, I think what the senate was meant achieve for provincial representation is well handled by the provinces," the respected Premier announced.
In 2005 for instance, then Prime Minister Paul Marin appointed a neuroscientist in Lillian Eva Quan Dyck as an NDP Senator. The party refused to recognize the now Liberal Senator because the "party platform specifically favours abolition of the Senate and it refused to confer legitimacy on the body by accepting" her.
With scandals coming from the upper house via Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb, the Prime Minister should truly make an effort to see its abolishment become a reality in the near future. It is the only way Canadians can begin to have confidence in their governments.
"The Senate status quo is not acceptable," the Prime Minister has said, but these empty words should begin to be acted on sooner than later. According to a CBC online poll -- 62 per cent of Canadians want to see its abolishment while 34 per cent want to see reform and only 3 per cent want the status quo to continue.
Every Prime Minister has used the upper chamber to solidify political base, compliment political friends as well as appoint failed candidates. For instance -- Prime Minister Brian Mulroney famously used it to instantly appoint political friends to be able to pass the GST bill two decades ago. The current Prime Minister has also appointed a slew of political friends just like a slew of Prime Ministers before him.
However, no Prime Minister has spoken ill about the senate and its shortcomings than Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Therefore Canadians have a higher expectation from their current leader. In its creation -- the fathers of confederation wanted it to be our "sober second thought" however it has become anything but that.
For Premier Wall, he thinks its abolishment would "possibly save a lot of time, and money, and oxygen, based on what we've seen in the last little while were there not a senate at all."
This is an almost a "Nixon goes to China" moment in Canadian politics when a right-leaning politician supports the perspective of the left. That is why Premier Wall has my respect and the respects of many Canadians.
Let us abolish the Senate institution for once and for all. As the Government's leader in the Senate -- Marjory LeBreton -- recently noted, the "public doesn't see (the) Senate as a 'legitimate institution".