The Canadian Senate: Chamber Of Sober Reflection By David C. Docherty

David C. Docherty’s (2002) scholarly journal: The Canadian Senate: Chamber of Sober Reflection or Loony Cousin Best Not Talked About, responds to the continual controversy and debate of the usefulness of the Canadian senate. Docherty’s (2002) article analyzes the current Canadian senate and argues that the senate is a failing Canadian institution because of two democratic deficiencies: the undemocratic nature of senator selection and the inability of senators to represent provinces properly. Docherty analyzes four Senate reforms and answers the question of why these reforms failed, in doing so Docherty lays down a framework for a possible successful senate reform but acknowledges the obstacles in doing so. The reader is provided with the knowledge …show more content…
Docherty’s normative framework attacks the accountability of the senate because the senate is unable to be the voice of representation for provincial regional interests. The federal government increased its funding of provincial social programs and this has created closer ties between the federal government and the provincial governments Premiers. Docherty (2002) explains that Premiers are representing regional interests to the federal government therefore eliminating the need for intra-state federalism which the senate was to supposed to represent. Premiers have taken the position of representing regional interests which has left Canadian citizens to question the accountability of the senate to perform its original goals. The accountability of senates is being questioned because other Canadian institutions have taken the position of representing its regional interests. Docherty makes the reader question the liability of the senate in parliament because if the senate is unable to represent regional interests then what is the senates real job, is it what the title perceives it to be: the chamber of sober second thought? However, this is one of Docherty’s weakest points as to why the senate is a failing institution as he provides little information on why the Senate is unable to be the voice of representation for …show more content…
Docherty provides answers on how to fix the undemocratic nature of senate selection and the inability of senators to represent provinces properly. Docherty (2002) proposes that the senate could be fixed through having an equal senate proportion throughout every province so it can represent regional interests more effectively and lessen the disparities between each province. Also, Docherty (2002) proposes that the experiment of Brian Mulroney, to appoint Senators from a list provided by the Premier, would be a viable way of reforming the Senates unelected body. Although, Docherty provides information on reforming the senate Docherty also provides critical information regarding the obstacles that stand in the way of reforming the senate. Firstly. Docherty (2002) found that most provinces complain about senate reform but care little about reform because the move to inter-state federalism would give the Premier of Prince Edward Island, a place with very little population, the same power as Ontario with a large population. Docherty also notes there is a lack of political will to tackle the complicated issues of how reforms would play out. These obstacles provided by Docherty inform the reader of why the Canadian senate is

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