A few more thoughts on the whole “abolish the Senate” thing.
Apparently it’s gaining some traction, at least in the context of some of the all-candidates meetings I’m reading about on Twitter. Olivia Chow said the NDP would do it last night at the #trinspa all-candidates meeting. It’s got an intuitive appeal, and it’s an easy applause line, but how realistic is it?
Getting rid of the Senate would be a Constitutional nightmare. I don’t see it happening.
Getting rid of the obviously dysfunctional First-Past-The-Post system, on the other hand, wouldn’t require a constitutional amendment. In fact, it probably wouldn’t require anything more than a change to existing statutes governing elections. Can’t see how anyone could argue against a distribution of parliamentary seats that more accurately reflects the will of the voters and the level of each party’s popular support. Will any of the established parties commit to introducing legislation to do that?
Call me a dreadful cynic, but I doubt we’ll see that from either one of the major parties. They have too much invested in the status quo, dysfunctional though it is, to want to change it.
If we’re genuinely serious about democratic electoral reform, though …
(On another note, still working on that Twitter widget thing. I’m hearing that Posterous may not be able to handle it. May have to check out Tumblr … )