Parliamentary Reform in Canada: The Significance of Senate Reform
In this paper, I will argue that the Canadian Parliamentary system has become significantly less democratic over time and therefore requires reform. Specifically, I will focus on the Senate and the ways in which the institution has had a negative impact on the state of Canadian democracy. Through an analysis of how Senators are selected, the make up of the Senate, and the institution’s role in Canadian governance, I come to the conclusion that Canadians must demand reform if they are to maintain a strong, healthy democracy that serves their interests. Mainly, I support a Triple E Senatorial system since it gets at the root of the problem by decentralizing federal power and giving it to the provinces and Canadian people. I also include a brief discussion of Justin Trudeau’s plan for the Senate which proposes more immediate reform and does not require constitutional revision. Rather than demanding abolition or tolerating the status quo, taking these steps towards reform will ensure that Canadian interests are the government’s top priority. Through reform, Canadians would have more effective “sober second thought” and a democracy that works for the people, not the party in power.
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