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Author Topic: Senate and the Budget.
North Shore
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Babbler # 8029

posted 10 June 2006 08:22 AM      Profile for North Shore     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Could someone refresh my memory on how the Senate works, please. As it stands, the Budget passed 3rd reading in the House of Commons a few days ago, and now goes on to the Senate for approval. Is this a rubber stamp, or can the Senators say "you can do better than this - try again" and send the bill back to the House?
I'm really peeved about the cancellation of the program that helped people to do energy audits of their homes, and thus save heating costs. I figure that this isn't a Liberal/Conservative issue, but a common sense one, and thus should be restored to its former place. If the Government, in its wisdom, has decided to cancel the program, can they be forced to re-introduce it by the Senate? ( I suppose that the same could be true of the reneging on our Kyoto commitment.)

From: Victoriahhhh | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Dead_Letter
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12708

posted 10 June 2006 09:58 AM      Profile for Dead_Letter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I might be wrong, but I think the Senate traditionally does not hold up money bills because the government's fate depends on passage.
From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sean Tisdall
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posted 10 June 2006 02:42 PM      Profile for Sean Tisdall   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Senate can block the bill, but holding up that much supply would almost certainly force an election, and burn up whatever legitimacy to oppose Harper on some fundamental democracy type issues that the Senate has.
From: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Dimension XY | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
otter
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Babbler # 12062

posted 10 June 2006 05:29 PM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post
The orginal purpose of our Senate was to [in theory] provide a "house of sober second thought" to safeguard Canada's political decision making'.

In reality, the Senate can reject any legislative instrument that does not serve the needs of the population, including a budget, that comes from the House of Commons, making the legislation null and void. Then the only recourse to the house is to sit down and try it again.

For instance, the senate could send this budget back to the house and tell them to add some relief for the homeless or a reasonable response to global warming concerns.

It was hoped that having appointed senators would avoid the partisanship that pollutes so much of the decision making of elected politicians. The kind of partisanship where we see politicians - and the parties they belong to - invariably focused on being re-elected rather than making the really difficult decisions that can cause their own constituency offices and/or caususes to toss them out on their ears.

But with all the partisan appointments to our senate over the years the hopes for a 'house of sober second thought' has been reduced to the farce of senators collecting huge salaries for getting tanned on Mexican beaches and party loyalties censoring any progessive efforts that might come from the Senate.

In fact, since the Senate was originally stacked with members of the 'establishment', so it has never really ever succeeded in its original mandate.

But the idea is still a good one and would work best if the Senators were appointed by the people in a sort of referendum process. They could also be removed by the same process.

But the idea to make the Senate an elected house will simply bring the same corruption, self-righteous ideology and outright arrogance that contaminates the House of Commons into the Senate as well.


From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
North Shore
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posted 11 June 2006 07:50 AM      Profile for North Shore     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Is there a 'partial pass' option? They can say, well we agree in principle, but we'd like to see changes to 'x'?
From: Victoriahhhh | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
otter
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Babbler # 12062

posted 11 June 2006 08:35 AM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post
I believe that, by simply rejecting the proposed legislation, it goes back to the House for further consideration of the concerns expressed by the Senate.
From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged

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