Opinion

EDITORIAL: NDP pushes Liberals on Senate

The B.C. NDP is doing its Official Opposition job well with this issue.

Earlier this month, the New Democrats of this province announced they will introduce a motion in the legislature to support the abolition of the Senate.

"The recent Senate scandals serve to underline that the Senate needs to be abolished," said soon-to-be-replaced leader Adrian Dix. "B.C. is under-represented, with one senator for every 764,000 British Columbians, while other jurisdictions get a senator for less than 37,000 people."

What's more, Dix says Premier Christy Clark has "repeatedly" changed positions on the Senate "based on her political needs."

In typical NDP fashion, they just throw that accusation out there about the premier's political needs without actually listing examples or backing it up, but we digress because we find ourselves in agreement with the NDP on this one.

As stated in the NDP news release, a motion to abolish the Senate was passed unanimously in Saskatchewan with the support of both the governing Saskatchewan Party and the Opposition New Democrats. On the same day, Saskatchewan repealed legislation that allowed for elected nominees to the Senate.

If both sides of the house in Saskatchewan can unite over this, why can't the same happen in Victoria?

We are at a loss to come up with what value the Senate brings to Canadians, aside from providing fodder for journalists in Central Canada who get tired writing about Rob Ford.

The Senate is not representative. It is not democratic. If it was designed to give sober second thought to bills from the House of Commons, that has evaporated as the chamber became a place to reward loyal party soldiers, thereby making it a body that votes on political lines just like the House.

The NDP is doing some good Official Opposition work by putting the feet of the premier and the B.C. Liberals to the fire on this issue. We believe the majority of B.C. residents, that same group of people who returned the B.C. Liberals to power in May, would like to see the premier take a stand on the Senate and call for its abolition.

— Editorial by John Harding

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