Friday, January 31, 2014

Non Partisan Senators

The dramatic announcement of Justin Trudeau as Liberal leader that Senators formerly sitting as Liberals will no longer be a formal caucus has shaken up Canada's political landscape. Some ask how can the Senate function without political parties. What about the concept of the Government and the Opposition? Surely this is essential to a Westminster style legislative body?

Well, no - a parliamentary system can work without political parties. Indeed one of Canada's legislatures is explicitly not party based.

And more, historically the Canadian Senate is probably better structured without parties.

The Senate was intended as a place where eminent Canadian would gather to represent the regions of Canada and give a sober review of legislation passed by the House. There is nothing in that which suggests political parties are necessary. Indeed they might well interfere in the proper functioning of the Senate.

Seen this way Justin Trudeau's step is a bold step backwards - to the Senate's original role.

1 comment:

Lance said...

Senator Cowan - "we will continue to do everything we can to ensure that he (Trudeau) becomes the PM”."
"Everything we can". Non-partisan. Rigggghhhhhhtttttt.