The Westminster System

2172 Words 9 Pages
The British Empire was once the largest empire the world had ever seen. It was thanks in part to the adoption of a strong, organized form of government. The Westminster system is one of the most prominent systems of government globally thanks to the now defunct empire’s far-reaching influences. The system of a bicameral parliament, which is what the Westminster system is, represents every citizen’s voice, but that is not necessarily the case. Many of the countries that impose this system of government have attempted to amend the system; such is the case with the United Kingdom and their House of Lords, as well as the elected Senate in Australia. This is not the case with one of the empire’s former colonies in particular. From its outset, there …show more content…
The control that the provinces have is not enough for some, because they feel that the Red Chamber, as it is colloquially known, makes it too easy for the government to pass legislation with the opposition of the provinces. This was a major issue for the Western provinces in particular, as legislation such as the National Energy Program affected them the most. As a result of these actions, the West became a heavy advocate for an amendment to the Senate, looking in particular for more representation through a Triple-E Senate. This would introduce equal representation through an elected chamber, thereby being more effective theoretically; such is the case with the Australian Senate. It theoretically would work, but as Stephane Dion (2015) has noted, an elected Upper and Lower House would require a conflict resolution mechanism in order for it to work. The ability to go about these changes would be extremely difficult due to the need for a constitutional amendment, a requirement that is regarded as being necessary according to the Supreme Court of Canada The discussion of an amendment to the Constitution to allow for an elected Senate appears to be an impossible as well by the declaration by the province of Quebec that it is unwilling to negotiate on the issue …show more content…
Trudeau had uncoupled the Liberal senators from the Liberal caucus in January 2014, as his goal was to have a nonpartisan relationship between the House of Commons and the Senate. Once the Liberals came into office after the October 2015 election, Trudeau swiftly went about an overhaul of the system in which senators were to be chosen. The process for advising the appointment of new senators now involves an Independent Advisory Board that follows a set of guidelines with “merit-based criteria”, that also permits applications from the general public. The goal, it appears, is to one day have the Senate be filled with members that are selected through a process that is not directly linked to the Prime Minister so that there can be no affiliation to any party

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