An open letter to MP Russ Hiebert (S. Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale).
Watching, listening and following the Senate affair, I am disappointed that, to date, no one has proposed a reasonable, non-political solution to resolve this issue.
I believe that the current government, including all parties, should vote to have a referendum on whether to have the Senate abolished or remain. The solution should be made by the people of this country in a referendum, not by those with a vested interest in maintaining a Senate that is not democratically elected nor democratically representing all the people of this country on a equal basis.
It is simply, at this time, an institution that is totally undemocratic.
The Conservatives were elected in 2006 with a promise to make the Senate equal and elected. That has not happened, nor do I believe it is anywhere close to happening. Therefore the action should be removed from the political appointees and referred to the people of the country to make the decision.
The senators are currently approving a measure to have the Senate’s books audited by the attorney general. These senators are the same people who said that if senators repaid inappropriate expense claims, everything would be good. I believe it should be the people who pay the bills who should have the final say on whether the Senate is abolished or remains.
Both Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Treasury Board president Tony Clement are looking for ways to trim costs and get the country back on a balanced budget. I totally agree with this direction, and abolishing the Senate should save the country a minimum of a billion dollars a year.
Furthermore, I believe that if a referendum were held soon, the overwhelming majority of the country would vote to abolish the Senate.
Additionally, I just listened to Senator James Cowan, the Liberal opposition member in the Senate, state that in order to abolish the Senate, a majority of the provinces would have to be in agreement with that decision. I believe that if a majority of people in each province voted to abolish the Senate in a referendum by province, then the federal government would have the Senate abolished. There would be no more discussion on whether or not the Senate can be abolished.
Furthermore, I cannot see any provincial government objecting to a referendum abolishing the Senate at this point in time. They would be voting against the very population that installed them into these positions.
The House of Commons should be listening very closely to this current discussion, as the Senate affair hopefully will have an impact on a more transparent and open House of Commons.
Bill Hatton, Surrey