Just putting it out there… Senate Reform

I am for senate reform. Not the wishy-washy type that Prime Minister Harper is proposing. I mean REAL senate reform. Get the provincial leaders together and hammer out a new deal type of reform.

I think the Australian model would work in Canada and could look like this:

10 Senators per Province.
4 Senators per Territory
—————————–
112 Senators total

Six year term. No term limits. No Gold Plated pensions. Just a contribution to Senator’s RRSPs.

Senators are voted based on the Single Transferable Vote and this would enable smaller parties to participate in the Senate where they may not have a hope in hell of winning in a First-Past-The-Post House of Commons.

How would it shake out? Using the numbers from the last election, broken down by province:

2011 Canadian Election Results by Province
# Senate Seats awarded / % Votes
Region
% Turnout
Bloc Quebecois Conservative Green Party Liberal NDP Other Total
Nfld
52.8
3
28.4%
0
0.9%
4
37.9%
3
32.6%

0.3
10
PEI
74.0
4
41.2

2.4
4
41.0
2
15.4

0.1
10
NS
62.1
4
36.7

4.0
3
28.9
3
30.3

0.1
10
NB
66.1
5
43.9

3.2
2
22.6
3
29.8

0.6
10
Que
62.2
3
23.4
2
16.5

2.1
1
14.2
4
42.9

0.9
10
Ont
62.2
4
44.4

3.8
3
25.3
3
25.6

0.9
10
Man
60.3
5
53.5

3.6
2
16.6
3
25.8

0.6
10
Sask
64.1
6
56.3

2.7
1
8.6
3
32.3

0.2
10
Alta
58.4
7
66.8
0
5.3
1
9.3
2
16.8

1.9
10
BC
61.1
5
45.5
1
7.7
1
13.4
3
32.5

0.8
10
NWT
48.2
2
32.1

3.1
0
18.4
2
45.8

0.6
4
NU
47.4
2
49.9

2.1
2
28.6

19.4

4
Yuk
67.8
2
33.8

18.9
2
33.0

14.4

4
3 51 1 26 31 112

Voting Percentages Sourced from Andrew Heard – Simon Fraser University

With those numbers, the Conservatives would not have a majority. You have an electorate with more left leaning senate. Consensus would have to be built to pass legislation. A check and balance to the House of Commons. And all provinces are equal. This would not benefit the Conservatives in the end. And this is just with numbers from the last election for the House of Commons. Look again to the Australian Senate to see the diversity of parties and views involved. Family First Party, Green Party, Christian Democratic Party, Liberal, Citzens Electoral Party, Labour. Lots of diversity. Lots of voices. Lots of views. Great for democracy.