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Old 08-18-2013, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
1,132 posts, read 1,653,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevySpoons View Post
I myself think the Senate is needed. However, I disagree with the current process for appointing Senators, as well as the number of Senators per region/province. I'd like to see a Senatorial election--non-partisan (i.e. political party membership excludes on from running), and an equal number of Senators per province. This works in the US: Wyoming has the same number of senators (i.e. 2) as California; and so Wyoming has the same voice in the Senate as California. I don't know how many Senators a Canadian province ought to have, but the fact that Quebec and Ontario currently have a helluva lot more than Alberta and Saskatchewan doesn't seem to me to be fair.
The intent was to divide it by regions, I think. The West (BC, AB, SK, MB) has 24, Ontario has 24, Quebec has 24. Atlantic Canada, is a bit weird - NB, NS and PEI have 24 between them, with NL having an additional 6. Territories get 1 a piece.

I don't mind the idea of each region getting an equal amount, though I would prefer to see Atlantic Canada in line with the rest of the regions. If we go by province, 6 seems to be the standard, with the exception of Ontario and Quebec - frankly, it wouldn't hurt my feelings to go with 6 per province and 1 per territory and cut 40-odd seats out of the senate.


I like the idea of unaffiliated candidates, but I see it ending up as a system where a candidate gets a tacit nod from a party, though no official support. I don't see a lot of non-political people wanting to be involved in something like that, either, so I wonder if you'd end up with involved people giving up party membership in order to run.

The other idea I've tossed around that would, if nothing else, make life interesting, would be a proportionally represented senate. Have all official parties nominate a list of candidates and have seats distributed by voter percentage.

So long as whipped votes are forbidden in the senate (something that ought to be addressed in the house of commons, for what it's worth) I don't see official party membership being necessarily bad.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,937 posts, read 27,326,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubblejumper View Post
The intent was to divide it by regions, I think. The West (BC, AB, SK, MB) has 24, Ontario has 24, Quebec has 24. Atlantic Canada, is a bit weird - NB, NS and PEI have 24 between them, with NL having an additional 6. Territories get 1 a piece.
I believe the reason Atlantic Canada has so many compared to the West which has much more population is because it has not been updated for a very long time and does not reflect population evolution (slow on the east coast and explosive in the west).
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
1,132 posts, read 1,653,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I believe the reason Atlantic Canada has so many compared to the West which has much more population is because it has not been updated for a very long time and does not reflect population evolution (slow on the east coast and explosive in the west).
Evolution of Senate Seats has an interesting breakdown of senate seats by year.

It looks like Ontario, Quebec and the original Maritime provinces have always been equally represented. The West has slowly climbed in number of seats, becoming a fully represented region in 1915. I think the issue came about when Newfoundland joined - the wiki article classifies Newfoundland as a separate Senate division from the Maritimes.

I'm in agreement with ChevySpoons that Senate representation shouldn't reflect population evolution. I quite like the 24 seats per region set up - It just seems like Newfoundland was a slapped on addition to a relatively well planned concept.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
2,164 posts, read 1,749,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I believe the reason Atlantic Canada has so many compared to the West which has much more population is because it has not been updated for a very long time and does not reflect population evolution (slow on the east coast and explosive in the west).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubblejumper View Post
I'm in agreement with ChevySpoons that Senate representation shouldn't reflect population evolution.
Yes, that's what I was getting at: the idea that the Senate should reflect the regions, not the population. The Commons reflects the population (as the House of Representatives does in the US); while the Senate reflects the regions.

Ideally, I'd like all provinces on a level playing field in the Senate (as the states are in the US Senate), and six Senators per province sounds like it would work. But that would require re-opening the Constitution to amendment, and after Meech Lake and Charlottetown, I think we're all a little leery of that.
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