EDITORIAL: Elect senators

How about tacking a Senate ballot on the B.C. municipal elections in 2014?

It was 25 years ago, but the comment still rings true and relevant today.

Preston Manning, in his unmistakably folksy voice smattered with a liberal use of the word “ought,” described the three priorities of the Senate thusly:

“Alcohol, protocol and Geritol.”

Recent scandals involving senators like Mike Duffy have brought the debate back to the forefront: do we really need a Senate?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was a Manning Reformer back in the day, and he was in favour of scrapping the Upper House. Like many good intentions seem to do, this one went to Ottawa with both Manning and Harper and died.

What do Canadians, or more specifically, the people of Parksville Qualicum Beach, get for the tax dollars spent on the Senate? Well, we know what we’re supposed to get — sober second thought on bills sent to that august chamber from the House of Commons.

Thing is, with a Senate filled willy-nilly by partisan appointments, exactly what kind of second thought are we getting? And why should a non-elected body full of political appointees, with all due respect to Nancy Greene and, formerly, “The Big M” Frank Mahovlich, have any say on the laws of the land?

The answer is they should not. Changing, never mind abolishing, the Senate is tricky, Constitution-changing business. Why would Quebec or Ontario vote to abolish an institution that has the odds stacked in their favour?

So, the next best thing in a bad situation may be the election of senators. Alberta has done it, and Premier Christy Clark promises to follow suit.

This process may take a generation or two, but a Senate full of elected senators is preferable to what we have now.

Tack the Senate election on to the B.C. municipal elections in 2014.

To be a candidate, you must have 10,000 signatures of eligible B.C. voters.

If we are forced to keep the alcohol, protocol and Geritol flowing, it would be nice to have some say in who is doing the swilling.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Oceanside Generals stun Victoria, 3-2

Junior B club snaps seven-year losing streak to Cougars

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

Man receives four-year sentence for stabbing Good Samaritan near Qualicum Beach

Jeffrey Brian MacDonald sentenced to additional 242 days in jail

Parksville water project seeks new manager

City operations manager moving to new job with RDN

Coming to Canada ‘like a dream’

Syrian family meets volunteers, councillor after living in Parksville for one month

Parksville MakerSpace members ride the rails

New room added for model train enthusiasts; workshop set for Jan. 21

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

UPDATE: BC Transit’s handyDart service strike delayed

LRB application by contractor means new strike notice must be issued by union

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Most Read