Change would help everyone

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It was a good decision for this province when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled last week that the federal government couldn’t unilaterally tinker with the Senate.

As our Parliament operates now, the Senate does nothing to improve the lot of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, but it could be changed so that it would.

Under the American system, every state — regardless of its size or population — gets to elect two senators to send to Washington to represent the citizens of that state.

Among other things, that means a small state like Hawaii carries as much political weight as mighty California or New York when it comes to passing legislation.

Nothing like that happens in Canada with our neutered Senate.

Provinces like ours and the Maritimes are left wanting in the national political arena because a vast majority of the seats in the House of Commons — where all the real power is located — are concentrated in Ontario and Quebec.

Basically, what Central Canada wants, Central Canada gets when it comes to political power and economic sway.

Instead of axing the Senate and leaving all the power in the hands of MPs as some have suggested, a system similar to the United States would benefit this tiny province dramatically.

If Newfoundland and Labrador had two or three or even five elected senators — the same number as every other province and territory — looking after our interests in Ottawa, we would have finally have some real sway in how Canada is run.

That would be fairness that all Canadians should support.

Organizations: Supreme Court of Canada, House of Commons

Geographic location: California, Canada, Washington Hawaii New York Ontario United States Newfoundland and Labrador Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • John Q....
    April 30, 2014 - 09:29

    Good luck with that...