CKA Forums
Login 
canadian forums
bottom
 
 
Canadian Forums

Author Topic Options
Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
 Vancouver Canucks
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 28430
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 5:41 am
 


Title: Senators defeat Ottawa's oil tanker ban bill in rare move, putting legislation on life support
Category: Political
Posted By: DrCaleb
Date: 2019-05-16 05:39:23
Canadian


Offline
CKA Moderator
CKA Moderator
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 31631
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 5:41 am
 


And that people, is why we have a Senate. 8)


Offline
Forum Elite
Forum Elite
 Pittsburgh Penguins
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 1781
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 7:51 am
 


Finally, the Senate gets something right. Good on them.


Offline
Forum Elite
Forum Elite
 Pittsburgh Penguins
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 1781
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 7:51 am
 


Double post. :oops:


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
 Montreal Canadiens
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 28593
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 8:03 am
 


DrCaleb wrote:
And that people, is why we have a Senate. 8)

I thought it was a weird old-folks home where the inmates get paid. :?


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber


GROUP_AVATAR
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 13126
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 11:28 am
 


raydan wrote:
DrCaleb wrote:
And that people, is why we have a Senate. 8)

I thought it was a weird old-folks home where the inmates get paid. :?


It is. [B-o]


But to be honest this must be a terrible shock to the Liberals especially since in it's long existence with few exeptions the Senate's normally been nothing more than a rubber stamp body for gov't policy.

Although in the past they had some testicular fortitude on at least a few occasions.

Here's a laundry list of things the Senate has done to stop wrong or egregious legislation.

Quote:
Winston Churchill would have conned us into buying him some free battleships

In 1912, prime minister Robert Borden got back from England with some surprising news. While there to receive his customary knighthood, none other than Winston Churchill (then First Lord of the Admiralty) sweet-talked the Canadian leader into putting up the cash for three battleships to counter rising German aggression. Borden’s subsequent Naval Aid Bill was to be little more than a cheque for $35 million ($772 million in 2018 dollars) that Canada would simply hand over to London. The ships wouldn’t be built in Canada and they wouldn’t even be Canadian vessels when completed; they were just going to be absorbed into the Royal Navy. Borden was so convinced of the “emergency” need for such a measure that, for the first time in Canada’s history, he forbid any House of Commons debate on the bill. Fortunately, the Senate soon killed the bill and put an end to all that nonsense.

Moralist killjoys would have had freer reign to tell us what to do

A century ago, the term “social justice” didn’t refer to gender-neutral bathrooms or a $15 minimum wage. Rather, leftist activists of the time were focused on a laundry list of moral crusades: Banning liquor, banning gambling and making sure that everything was closed on Sundays. The Senate made it their mission to get in the way of all of these things. They shot down laws to close canals on Sunday, kneecapped bills to search suspected bootleggers and gutted one prohibition bill by exempting beer and wine. The Senate likely had very little long-term effect on moral legislation in Canada, but their actions did make them a hated target of social reformers. “What moral legislation has the Senate not opposed?” complained one church newsletter at the time.

We never would have had Mackenzie Bowell as prime minister

This is admittedly a small footnote, but a unicameral Canada would never have had the triumphantly bearded Mackenzie Bowell as its prime minister. After Prime Minister John Thompson unexpectedly died in office, the Governor General picked Mackenzie Bowell, a Senator, to fill the post for a couple years. He’s still Canada’s only Senator prime minister, although there is nothing to stop future senators from taking the job (or anyone else the Governor General feels like appointing, really). Senators used to be commonly included in federal cabinets — particularly if a governing party wanted regional representation from a part of the country where it didn’t have any MPs.

The Senate spent 10 years championing a particular egregious violation of civil liberties

Section 98 was a notorious Criminal Code measure enacted at the height of anti-Communist fears stoked by the Winnipeg General Strike. The measure prescribed prison terms of up to 20 years for anyone associated with an “unlawful organization” — a term defined so broadly that it conceivably applied to every union organizer in the country. The House of Commons first tried to strike down Section 98 in 1926. But the Senate rejected the bill, and then another, and then another. All told, it took until 1936 until the Senate finally acceded to allowing one of Canada’s most overreaching law enforcement measures to be taken off the books. However, with anti-communist fears at historic highs, it’s not clear that the Senate’s actions were out of step with public sentiment at the time.

They’ve done a whole bunch of boring yeoman’s work that might have saved us some trouble

The ideal Senator should be a glorified copy editor, carefully revising legislation to make sure it doesn’t have any mistakes. Thus, while MPs are kissing babies and worrying about re-election and such, Senators are there to make sure their bills aren’t full of loopholes and potentially unconstitutional flaws. According to University of Waterloo constitutional law expert Emmett Macfarlane, “there are a lot of instances where (Senate) amendments on constitutional grounds probably helped to prevent litigation and findings of unconstitutionality by courts.”

The Senate bravely resisted tyranny once! (sort of)

In 1944, the House of Commons passed a bill to strip voting rights from any Canadian whose heritage included one of the Axis powers of the Second World War. The Senate saw its moment to take a principled stand against injustice. “One of the principal traditional responsibilities of this chamber is that of safeguarding the rights of minorities,” said Senator Norman Lambert in a stirring speech against the bill. Another senator vowed to fight the bill to “the last ounce of my strength.” There’s just one problem: The Senators’ commitment to truth and justice absolutely did not include Japanese-Canadians. The senate gutted the bill, save for an amendment in which B.C.’s Japanese-Canadians would continue to be denied the vote. That measure would remain in place until 1949.

We would have had the GST sooner (and it might not have been such a huge screaming deal)

Brian Mulroney had a particularly hard time with the Senate. He called the 1988 election as a way to stop Senate obstruction of a Canada-U.S. free trade agreement (his landslide victory convinced them to back down). Then, in 1990 Senate Liberals vowed to block Mulroney’s introduction of a GST, prompting him to employ an obscure measure to stack the Senate with eight extra Tories and overtake the Liberal majority. Although the GST has few fans, this was one of the Senate’s darkest hours in terms of naked partisanship. After a Liberal government won election in 1993 and declared the tax a non-issue, Liberal Senators magically ceased their go-for-broke GST crusade.

The government would have needed to invent a whole bunch of other cushy jobs

Not to be cynical, but the Senate has been a relatively transparent place to put political hacks out to pasture. Doling out patronage to political appointees may seem icky by modern standards, but in the wildly corrupt early days of Confederation it was the glue that held everything together. Historian Richard Gwyn has even called it the “fairy dust” of early Canadian politics. It’s why, according to Carleton University Westminster expert Philippe Lagasse, a Canada without a Senate might have had “more Crown corporations, government boards, and other appointed bodies to reward party loyalty.”

The Senate has stood up for freedom of the press!

Lately, the Senate’s most notable relationship with the press has been to take esteemed members of the fourth estate and turn them into expense-crazed partisan hacks. However, there are token moments in Canadian history in which the Senate has been the greatest friend of a free press. Nine times during the First World War, the Senate rejected a bill that would have required newspapers to register with the government before using the mail service. During a redrafting of the Criminal Code in 1952 the Senate also stared down the House of Commons to secure the right of appeal for convictions of contempt of court. The journalism angle here is that whenever a reporter refuses a court order to reveal their sources, they’re typically slapped with a contempt of court charge.

Regional strife would have been exactly the same

Canadian schoolchildren are taught that the Senate exists in part to protect smaller corners of Canada from the parliamentary domination of Ontario. However, when the rubber hits the road, the Senate consistently sucks at actually doing this. The Red Chamber could do nothing to prevent the Conscription Crisis of 1917, a fight over military conscription that alienated Quebec more than almost any other federal action. Alberta’s Senate seats also did nothing to prevent the National Energy Program. Ultimately, regional interests in Canada have been best served by grassroots political movements, such as the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec and the Reform Party in Western Canada.

Prime Ministers wouldn’t have been jerked around nearly as much

In ancient Rome, victorious generals parading were paired with a slave whose only job was to whisper in the commander’s ear “momento mori” (“remember, you are still mortal”). From day one, one of the key functions of the Senate was to act as a permanent “momento mori” to the awesome power of a majority prime minister. The Fathers of Confederation feared that unchecked democracy was simply asking for tyrannous demagoguery. So much so, in fact, that the word “democracy” was taboo at the time (they preferred the term “responsible government”). After all, it was still within living memory that France’s first foray into popular government had resulted in thousands of people guillotined in the streets of Paris. So it’s entirely by design that virtually every modern Canadian prime minister has hated the Red Chamber, which has potentially curbed their more authoritarian tendencies as a result. “A check upon ‘the never-ending audacity of elected persons,’ as Walt Whitman puts it, is a sound requirement of democracy,” reads the 1963 book The Unreformed Senate.

We might not have maintained an independent central bank

In 1961 the government of John Diefenbaker tried to fire Bank of Canada governor James Coyne (Andrew’s dad), in part because of their desire to have more political say in monetary policy. They did this by passing a bill that declared the governor position vacant. The Senate, though, went to bat for the embattled governor by calling Coyne in for a much-publicized hearing. Then, they killed the bill. Coyne would resign soon afterwards, but the episode (since dubbed the “Coyne Affair”) has caused governments to steer clear of Bank of Canada interference ever since. Considering the constant temptation for governments to simply print money in tough times, this is no small accomplishment.

It’s entirely possible we wouldn’t have had a Canada

Modern Canadians forget just how big of a deal the Senate was during negotiations for Confederation. It takes a lot of faith to give up control of your independent colony in order to join a giant, untested Confederation. Thus, whenever negotiators brought up some horrible pitfall that could befall the new country, they were calmed with assurances that the Senate would be a magical council of elders that would stop it from happening. Most of the Quebec Conference was spent on Senate talk, and it was one of the few issues that united bitter rivals George Brown and Sir John A. Macdonald. If the Fathers of Confederation could be brought back from the dead, according to The Unreformed Senate, they “might conclude that, even if the Senate were not as useful as they had hoped, this was a small price to have paid for achieving Confederation.” University of Ottawa law professor Errol Mendes was contacted by the National Post for his views on what Canada would have looked like without a Senate. He replied only “I can’t imagine it as I can’t imagine a Canada without the Senate.”


https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/ ... -us-really


So in 102 years the Senate has made 13 (and with this latest decision 14) momentous decisions that challenged the Gov't. Not really a great track record for the amount of time they've existed, the number of bills they reviewed and the amount of tax dollars they've been paid.


Offline
CKA Moderator
CKA Moderator
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 31631
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 11:34 am
 


Freakinoldguy wrote:
So in 102 years the Senate has made 13 (and with this latest decision 14) momentous decisions that challenged the Gov't. Not really a great track record for the amount of time they've existed, the number of bills they reviewed and the amount of tax dollars they've been paid.


I think they should be a rubber stamp. Look at the dysfunction down south because the two houses have different parties occupying them.

Canadian Senators are appointed, so they should bow to the will of the elected Parliament. Unless, like those 14 times, the Parliament doesn't have a fucking clue. Then they need to do their job and hit the 'abort' button.

And I had no idea of "Bowell" as PM. Never head of him. Still don't care. ;)


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber


GROUP_AVATAR
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 13126
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 3:16 pm
 


DrCaleb wrote:
Freakinoldguy wrote:
So in 102 years the Senate has made 13 (and with this latest decision 14) momentous decisions that challenged the Gov't. Not really a great track record for the amount of time they've existed, the number of bills they reviewed and the amount of tax dollars they've been paid.


I think they should be a rubber stamp. Look at the dysfunction down south because the two houses have different parties occupying them.

Canadian Senators are appointed, so they should bow to the will of the elected Parliament. Unless, like those 14 times, the Parliament doesn't have a fucking clue. Then they need to do their job and hit the 'abort' button.

And I had no idea of "Bowell" as PM. Never head of him. Still don't care. ;)


If they're a rubber stamp legislative body then we don't need them. We need what they've been in 14 instances. A body of sober second thought.

And for the record they shouldn't be APPOINTED because it makes them beholding to the party that put them into a position that normal Canadians could only dream about. So, if we want another body that actually uses their superpowers for good we should at least elect them so there can be no doubt about their reasons for killing bad legislation. Oh and one more thing they can have no "party affiliation" and if they do or are found out to have they will be removed immediately.

As for Prime Minister Bowell let me point out that, to alot of us who didn't know or even remember him he was the greatest Canadian PM of all time. ROTFL


Offline
CKA Moderator
CKA Moderator
 Vancouver Canucks


GROUP_AVATAR
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 63343
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 4:05 pm
 


DrCaleb wrote:
Look at the dysfunction down south because the two houses (of Congress) have different parties occupying them.


That's not dysfunction. It's working the way it's supposed to work.

The Senate changes slowly and it tempers rash or trendy decisions from entering into law. The House changes quickly and reflects the sentiments of the people...which can change over time.

In the long run the system works the way it is supposed to and we're generally better off when all power is divided and not held by one party or the other.


Offline
CKA Moderator
CKA Moderator
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 31631
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 5:25 am
 


Freakinoldguy wrote:
If they're a rubber stamp legislative body then we don't need them. We need what they've been in 14 instances. A body of sober second thought.


We might only need them once in a while, but they are the last resort. Too many governments have become comfortable with not paying attention to the will of the citizens, because the citizens have neglected their duty in democracy. Someone has to have the will and ability to keep them in check if it isn't us.

BartSimpson wrote:
DrCaleb wrote:
Look at the dysfunction down south because the two houses (of Congress) have different parties occupying them.


That's not dysfunction. It's working the way it's supposed to work.


I wasn't referring to the arrangement, I mean that neither party is willing to work with the other. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages, and comprise is the key to them functioning as intended. In your Congress, neither side wants to compromise, so things only seem to get done once every couple decades when the same party controls both houses.


Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests




 
     
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner.
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest © Canadaka.net. Powered by © phpBB.