Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Road to Electoral Reform

So, today, the Conservative government unveiled the first of their electoral reforms. This was, of course, a good-sized chunk of their election platform.

The first bill tabled was for fixed election dates. In the Tories' new, proposed system, elections would be held every four years on the third Monday in October. They say fixed election dates "de-politicize" the election...now, the governing party can't have an election when they're doing good in the polls, or right after the announce a bunch of popular reforms.

In the case of a minority government, the government will still crumble and we'll still go to another election. But, on that fourth year from the last regularly-scheduled election, we still have another eleciton.

I look at this and I go, "Hmm. Looks good on paper." It'll be interesting to see that minority government situation and how it actually plays out.

Besides, I think it's a moot point as to de-politicizing it. The ruling party can still announce a whole bunch of popular reforms right before the election...only now, the announcement will be regulary scheduled: every fourth Septermber.

Now, the second proposed reform today is the one that's raised eyebrows. Term limits on senators.

Under the current system, a senator serves in the Red Chamber until he or she turns 75. Under the Tories proposed new systme, a senator would only serve for 8 years.

The Tories say that this is a necessary first step towards their true goal: an elected senate. Because, according to their logic, a senator could serve a term of 30 or 40 years, depending on how young they are when they're first elected.

Now, see, this one I disagree with. I mean, under our current system, an MP could serve a term of 30 or 40 years too...as long as he or she keeps getting re-elected.

If you're going to have term limits on the senators, then have it on the MPs, too.

That, or, when we finally do have an elected senate, set it up so a senator can be re-elected indefinitly...just like the MPs.

Hey, I'm only trying to go for equality of the houses here.

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