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Don Martin: Mike Duffy jumps the shark


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I understand very well what democracy is. I also understand the system we have. In addition I as well as a very great many citizens see the veritable plethora of flaws inherent within the current system.

All the spin in the world will not convince me that we have the best possible system. That system in my mind has yet to be devised let alone experienced. There are too many mob rule detractors and communist sympathizers standing in opposition to the fascists and capitalists. They can all suck eggs in my view! Even the Swiss direct democracy system has its drawbacks.

We need something else.

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For example.... Saying there's something wrong with our system is one thing. Saying that you can make it better, and proving so, is very much something else.

Really!

I like the way you said "and prove it". There is no way that can be done now is there? What do you suggest then my friend? Let me guess, just leave it alone?

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That is the courts job. Like it or not they are the ones who are too address legality.

Well, actually its the court's job to interpret the law and apply it judiciously to disputes between parties, not create law, which is parliament's task; problematic bills should be dealt with there, before they reach the throne for Royal Assent, not after. The Senate committees are actually quite an integral part of arriving at that end, even with the partisanship you speak of next:

Right now the Senate only plays politics it is no longer the house of sober second thought.

Well, as you might have noted from my previous post, I do (somewhat) agree with that. My solution, however, differs significantly from yours.

[+]

Edited by g_bambino
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Really!

I like the way you said "and prove it". There is no way that can be done now is there? What do you suggest then my friend? Let me guess, just leave it alone?

I don't suggest anything because I don't have answers for any problems that may exist. I really don't see a great many problems, and the few that I do see aren't easy to repair because there is no way to get the entire country to agree.

And yes, and change should be proven necessary and beneficial. Otherwise, we're just throwing darts.

Edited by Smallc
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I'm not fan of Preston Manning, So whatever he'd say, I'd probably disagree with it. The fact is, the Senate is a Constitutional necessity whether people like it or not, and their jobs involve things that cost money. It's reality.

Hurray for patronage. This is great. :D

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One wonder what would happen if the NDP ever got into power. They would be constitutionally obligated to fill the Senate in the absence of a change in the Constitution. Or would they defer to the Governor General?

Are you constitutionally obligated to fill the Senate? Harpers reasons were based upon, if he didn't fill them and the CPC lost power, the Liberals would fill the Senate, and the CPC wanted to get into striking distance for control.

1) The NDP could choose not to appoint to the Senate and let it die. Who'd know? Who'd miss it?

2) They could increase the number of Senators to appease the LPC and CPC patronage system. Increase it to 1 million would be perfect. Then the NDP could appoint monkeys to type up new legislation. Worst case scenario, we get a copy of Shakespear in English and French (See punk post for book references, wiki link below for million monkey theory.)

I also think 1 million monkeys would work cheaper then our current # of Senators.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem

Edited by madmax
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Are you constitutionally obligated to fill the Senate?

Dobbin isn't (I made a funny), but the Governor General is. The Senate needs a quorum to legally operate and more than that in order to operate properly (including committees and such). The Senate is necessary for the passage of legislation.

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As he's already pointed out to me in the past, New Zealand isn't a federation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitary_state

Most of the countries without some type of upper house probably fall into this categorization. It's not even close to the same type of organizational structure that is applied by Canada.

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As he's already pointed out to me in the past, New Zealand isn't a federation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitary_state

Most of the countries without some type of upper house probably fall into this categorization. It's not even close to the same type of organizational structure that is applied by Canada.

I see what you are saying and that makes perfect sense. Although I still think it would would work. Strengthen the Constitution get rid of the Senate and do something that hasn't been done before I am all for it.

Apparently Iraq is the only one.

Edited by punked
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Look, It's simply that I think the Senate serves an important legislative function federally. I completely understand where you're coming from, but I still think there's a reason that a body like the Senate was included in our government system and enshrined within our Constitutional framework. If we can find a better way to do it (because obviously a great many people don't see it as being a body that works for their good - whether they're right or wrong I won't judge right now), fine, and I'll happily support that better way. I just think getting rid of the body altogether now would be a mistake.

All of that said, we have a Senate, and according to our Constitution it's necessary as is right now. I don't see a problem with Harper filling vacancies....besides the obvious promise breaking involved.

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Dobbin isn't (I made a funny), but the Governor General is.

:D

Yes you did, but only nerds get it. :P

Seriously, thanks for the substance too.

Back to the Origins of the thread.

If the CPC lose the by election it might have something to do with the impression Duffy left behind with that confrontation with Stoffer.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/

Check out the picture. OUCH!!!

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Only like half the countries in the world. New Zealand being a great example.
A small country without the regional rivalries that exist in Canada. The Senate in Canada is intended to provide regional representation that balances the rep-by-pop allocation of seats in the commons. The provinces don't want to give this up which is why they tend to oppose outright abolition of the Senate.

Unfortunately, the West feels it deserves to have more that the 1/4 of seats allocated to it today and but everyone else refuses to allow their share to decrease. The net result is a Senate that cannot be abolished or reformed.

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The Senate in Canada is intended to provide regional representation that balances the rep-by-pop allocation of seats in the commons. The provinces don't want to give this up which is why they tend to oppose outright abolition of the Senate.

At last somebody made this point! All the years of Reform explaining the need for a Triple E Senate and yet still so many remain blissfully ignorant of what's involved.

Most parliamentary style democracies have two Houses. One gives "rep by pop" representation. The problem here is obvious. Bigger states or provinces have far more power than smaller ones. Like Ontario or Quebec, as the rest of Canada has complained about since Confederation.

The second House is a check or balance factor by giving representation by region. The American Senate gives tiny Rhode Island the same number of Senators as New York or California.

If we had have had a Triple E Senate there never would have been a National Energy Policy and the Liberals may have actually grown used to having lots of seats in western Canada!

Anyone who feels that the status quo is fine or that the Senate should be abolished usually lives in a larger populated province. When you think about it, it's a very selfish and patronizing attitude towards the rest of Canada.

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At last somebody made this point!

All good points Wild Bill. A sound argument.

As a long time proponent of Abolition the Senate. I would be willing to have a referendum. Anything to avoid the current line of fools and patronage appointments currently floating around.

However, I would like to have Abolishment of the Senate as one choice in a referendum vs Status Quo and Triple E.

I would think, with the number of Reformers still existing in the CPC and the NDP supporting Abolition, that a Bill could come forth presenting a referendum option. Also, since the merger a some Reform voters who feel the CPC has lost its populist appeal have swung into the NDP fold. My guess they would be happy with either outcome vs status quo.

Maybe a Bill on MP and Senate Pensions too.... ;)

Is the country ready for another round of populism? I think we are a decade away.

Get ready for more Senate festivities.

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How are they not a federation of municipalities? You might not notice this but Ontario is actually 1/3rd of Canada has 1/3rd of our economy and has diversities from the GTA to the North to French speaking east side. It does not have a Senate and no one cares. Know why? The Senate doesn't do anything but waste our money.

I'm about as deeply involved in the NDP provincially and federally as a person can be without being the MLA or MP, but this business about abolishing the senate is a really stupid idea. The senate is the only thing that has been saving us from bad Conservative bills like c-15, and c-6 lately. We need the senate, and I'm glad we have it.

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I was a good piece. Duffy skewered the NDP back bench quite handily. He basically said his expenses and the NDPer were the same (which the NDP fake did not deny) so he was left to conclude that the NDP believe that the Senator jobs are of less value than backbenchers

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2009/11/11/pei-senator-duffy-expenses-584.html"

Mike Duffy is PEIs most Expensive Senator

During his first three months in the red chamber, Conservative Senator Mike Duffy racked up more than $100,848 in travel and office expenses, more than double the average of what the other three Island senators spend in a typical quarter
Duffy's rate of spending puts him in the top rank of senatorial expenses. An NDP-produced report showed the top spender for the 2008-09 year was Mobina Jaffer, a Liberal senator for British Columbia, at $323,173. Sustained over a year, Duffy's expenses would come in at $403,392.
Duffy made the point that his expenses are similar to Stoffer's, but the Nova Scotia MP said there's a difference in their jobs.

"I'm responsible to 91,000 people in the riding of Sackville-Eastern Shore. He's responsible to the prime minister of Canada, and that's it," Stoffer told CBC News on Tuesday.

Mike Duffy has painted himself into a corner.

Edited by madmax
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