The current controversy over the travel and living expenses and residency qualifications of several Canadian Senators is further evidence that the unaccountable Senate of Canada should be abolished.
An appointment to the Canadian Senate is like winning the cash for life lottery. Senators earn $132,300 a year as a base salary, serve until age 75, and sit in the Senate for an average of 56 days a year. The total cost for Canadian taxpayers to maintain the Senate is over $90 million.
Conservative and Liberal Governments have made appointments to the Senate as rewards for past support and to further the interests of their party and Government. As a result, the Senate is primarily made up of party bag men, organizers, hacks, and supporters.
The Senate is useless, undemocratic, unaccountable, and costly. The Senate is not needed to protect provincial interests which is done by the elected M.P.s and the provincial governments. Nor do we need an elected Senate in competition with the elected House of Commons. An elected Senate would be a recipe for political gridlock as they have in the United States.
The Government of Canada, in consultation with the provinces and territories, should hold a national referendum on the abolition of the Senate. If the majority of Canadians voted to abolish the Senate, then it would be up to the federal and provincial governments to amend the Canadian constitution accordingly. It’s time for the outdated, unaccountable, patronage filled Senate to go.
SDSG Federal NDP riding association