The fourth option for Senate reform

This morning’s CBC newscast showed a viewer’s emailed comment about the Senate expense scandal. The viewer wrote that in the next election the ballot should give voters three choices:

  1. appoint senators
  2. elect senators
  3. abolish the senate

There’s a fourth choice that should go on the ballot: increase the size of the Senate and select senators by lot. The advantage of this over appointment would be

  • decisions would better reflect the feelings of Canadians
  • there would be no patronage
  • there would be less chance of sleezy deals like the Duffy scandal

The advantage over elections would be

  • money would be saved because a random draw is cheaper than an election
  • there would be no need for sleazy deals in order to get elected

The advantage over abolishing the Senate would be

  • there would be less chance of sleazy deals in the House of Commons if there were a Senate to check on it.

 

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