Canadian politics - Essay Example

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Name : Professor : Course : Date : Bill C-7 The senate is part of the federal parliament of Canada. Its role is technically similar to that of the House of Commons. All bills are passed by the senate before they can become laws. It is a house that poses the veto power over all bills emanating from the House of Commons…
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Canadian politics
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Download file to see previous pages According to proponents of reforms, the way in which the system operates now. With twenty?four senators per region plus six assigned to Newfoundland and Labrador; does not reflect the political reality of contemporary Canadian federal relations. Of these one is for the Northwest Territories i.e. Yukon and Nunavut. These senators are appointed by the prime minister to serve until the age of seventy?five as per the current constitution. This arrangement of the upper house has never gone down well with Prime Minister Harper and together with the conservatives has always wanted to reform the senate in order to make it more efficient. These he advocates through the policy of the triple E that stands for equal, elected and effective. However, Harper keeps following the tradition of patronage that he so criticized while in the opposition. His government has tried severally to pass bills that do limit the tenure of senators to between 8 and 12 years through the introductions of bills that also provide a legislative frame work for the election of senators. These efforts were to form the basis for the governor general appointment of new senators on the advice of the prime minister. These bills were unsuccessfully introduced by his government seven times in the 39th and 40th parliament but did not sail through as the conservatives were a minority in the house at the time. In the 41st parliament, Mr. Harper had a majority in the house hence the agenda to reform the senate was introduced through two previous bills that were now introduced as one i.e. Bill C-7, the senate reform act. This bill sort to reform the selection of senators and set there were term limits by amending of the constitutional act of 1867. The assumption was that since the conservative had now a majority in the house this bill will surely pass. Note that the Canadian parliament has powers bestowed to it to amend parts of the constitution that exclusively fall within its jurisdiction. The bill intended to achieve this through legislation and both parts of the bill were indeed inline with the Constitution Act of 1982. It was therefore constitutional in principle (Thompson 64). The bill however did not pass into law due to pertinent issues that were raised by the opposition and this goad the prime minister through the governor general to seek guidance from the court concerning the matter. There were two contentious issues, one relating to the framework to be used for electing nominees for senate appointments from the province. This concerned matters relating to recommendation for senate nominees to the governor general from a list from the provinces or territories. This list is for those who will have been elected through an election held inline with the provincial or territorial laws drawn in accordance with the framework. The second was the pertinent issue about the tenure of the senators to a one off nine year limit. The nature of the Canadian parliament from the past is that senators have generally been in office for an average period of between 9.7 years since 1975. Therefore, the provision in Bill C-7 was to limit the tenure of senators to a one term of 9 years would in a real sense have no political or constitutional effect per see (Thompson 96). Thus, the character of the parliament would roughly remain the same. However section 29A right up to 31 of the constitution states that a person referred to in subsection (1) whose term is interrupted may be summoned again to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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