Senate Reform? Electoral Reform? Why Not Both?

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Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, long chastised by media and politicians from opposing parties for not seeming  to have much in the way of policy, delivered a staggering amount of policy last week. Amongst Trudeau’s announcements was his intention, if his party forms the next government, to do away with the current electoral system of First Past the Post (FPTP). What it will be replaced by will be the determination of an all-party panel, but whether it’s ranked ballots, proportional representation, or something as yet unthought-of, many Canadians agree that change is good.

But while considering change, there’s still the small matter of the Canadian senate. Trudeau’s policy brief included a proviso for creating a committee to oversee Senate nominations, thus, hopefully, avoiding any future senatorial selections that seem like party payback for raising money or doing political favours. NDP leader Thomas Mulcair meanwhile has been emphatic, the Senate has got to go, and it’s not like it does any work anyway. I’m sure some senators would beg to differ in that appraisal, and even Mulcair’s own supporters, at least those who wanted Bill C-51 defeated, saw value enough in the senate to try and petition senators to use their constitutional power to stop its passage into law.

But while we consider electoral reform, and senate reform, I propose a simple question in regards to the process: why not both? Continue reading “Senate Reform? Electoral Reform? Why Not Both?”

Joe Oliver Finally Announces Budget Date for April 21

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After weeks of badgering from the Opposition, Finance Minister Joe Oliver finally set a date to announce the next federal budget. On April 21, Canadians will learn what exactly the Harper government has in store in their final financial statement before this fall’s election, and how exactly the incumbent Conservatives plan on balancing the budget as well as delivering the new spending they’ve announced in the midst of an economic downturn. Continue reading “Joe Oliver Finally Announces Budget Date for April 21”

SCOC Unanimously Endorses Doctor Assisted Death

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In an unusual 9-0 decision, especially considering the contentious social issue at stake, the Supreme Court of Canada opened the doors to doctor assisted death today. Canadians, according to the court, have the right to seek out a doctor’s help to let them die when facing clearly defined criteria, and they’ve given a year to the federal and provincial governments to sort out the legal implications. Continue reading “SCOC Unanimously Endorses Doctor Assisted Death”