Senate reform: In case you were wondering
Like many people, I had some questions today about the Senate-reform legislation unveiled by Minister Tim Uppal. Like other people (okay constitutional nerds) who have some questions about how this will work, I told the minister's office I would like to know more. And I was invited to submit my questions via email.
Anyway, thought you might like to see how this whole reporting/answering thing works in the bold new days of the stable Conservative majority government. Have a look -- but don't try this at home.
Here were my questions:
Our Government received a strong mandate to reform the Senate.
That is why we are taking action to make the Senate more democratic, accountable and representative of Canadians.
Regarding term limits, we have specifically chosen terms that are long enough to maintain the essential characteristics of the Senate as a chamber of sober second thought, while still providing regular renewal in Senate membership.
Senators appointed after royal assent of the bill will be subject to nine-year non-renewable terms.
Senators appointed after October 14, 2008, will also have their terms limited to a non-renewable nine-years starting with the royal assent of this bill.
The retirement age of senators, regardless of when they were appointed, will remain at 75.
We look forward to working with the provinces in bringing about meaningful senate reform. We encourage all provinces to follow Alberta's lead and implement democratic processes to give Canadians greater say in the selection of their Senate nominees.
For additional background information, I will direct you to the backgrounder found here: