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Simple answers to Complex Questions and Complex Answers to Simple Questions. In real life, I'm a Greater-Toronto (Canada) Realtor with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd, Brokerage. I first joined RE/MAX in 1983 and was first Registered to Trade in Real Estate in Ontario in 1974. Formerly known as "Two-Finger Ramblings of a Forensic Acuitant turned Community Synthesizer"

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mr Harper Visits the Senate Committee

Anyone who supports the Prime Minister's plan to place term limits on Senators has not read the existing BNA/Constitution Acts.

Similarly, anyone who agrees with the reasons set out in the "Whereas' preamble to S-4 is displaying either truly-apolitical, benign nescience or truly-political, blatant "ignore-ance" of the Senate's BNA/Constitutional purpose and mandate.

I read Mr Harper's blustery "democracy" speech(Sept7) on this matter and from his comments can only deduce that either his thinking has not progressed since his days in the arrested-in-development, Reform Party, or that he is taking a so totally indefensible position constitutionally, that he is simply doing it "for public relations effect".

The Senate, one of the three elements in our "One Parliament" s.17 and one of the 4 levels of checks & balances within the hierarchical, BNA/Constitutional structure for the Executive & Legislative components of our now-called Federal government - from bottom to top: Commons, Senate, Governor General/Privy Council and Monarch-in-Council.

These 3 quotes below bear out the lack of trust that the historic 'elites' felt towards the newest and most unpredictable element in Crown-based governance.


G.E. Cartier -"to protect the regional interests and also a power of resistance to oppose the democratic element"

Sir James Lougheed - a "bulwark against the clamour and caprice of the mob"

Cicero (carved in oak frieze above the Canadian Senate Speaker's chambers) - "It is the duty of the nobles to oppose the fickleness of the multitude"

plus this more modern one

Alan MacEachen -"It is not only desirable but necessary for the Senate to act as somewhat of a check on the government"

The Senate was INTENDED to be superior to the House and its means-tested (for property-ownership & Net-worth s.23(3)(4), s.31(3)(5)) members were PURPOSELY not-elected by the same mob that elected the Lower House - why have two bunches of "I'm passing the hat for my re-election" fools! (nevermind what our cousins-to-the-south do)

The Senate was supposed to represent THAT wealthier class of Canadian voters and to spread THAT class' representation equally between the rich/dominant and not-so-rich/developing "divisions" (now-referred to as regions).

The only problem is the $4,000 dollar-amount of the Property-ownership & Net-worth qualifications was never seasonally-adjusted for inflation. (The 2006 equivalent-if-adjusted is probably $200-300,ooo)

If Mr Harper wants to update the Senate he should address this defining aspect its being.

Finally S-4 mis-cites the powers quite plainly written in the Amending Formula(e) of 1982 "by virtue of section 44 ... Parliament may make laws to amend the Constitution of Canada in relation to the Senate;".

Dear Sir!! Section 44 simply stands as a contrast to Section 45. (see below)

S.44 specifies the rules regarding the General/Federal order of government and s.45 does similarly regarding the provincial order, BUT BOTH ss. 44 & 45 are subject to the "2/3rds of the provinces with at least 50% of the population" provisions of section 38(1)(b).

Can you not READ, my good man? or do you think WE cannot!

PART V

PROCEDURE FOR AMENDING CONSTITUTION
44.
Subject to sections 41 and 42, Parliament may exclusively make laws amending the Constitution of Canada in relation to the executive government of Canada or the Senate and House of Commons.


45.
Subject to section 41, the legislature of each province may exclusively make laws amending the constitution of the province.


42.
(1) An amendment
to the Constitution of Canada in relation to the following matters may be made only in accordance with subsection 38(1):
(a)
the principle of proportionate representation of the provinces in the House of Commons prescribed by the Constitution of Canada;
(b)
the powers of the Senate and the method of selecting Senators
;
(c)
the number of members by which a province is entitled to be represented in the Senate and the residence qualifications of Senators;
(d)
subject to paragraph 41(d), the Supreme Court of Canada;
(e)
the extension of existing provinces into the territories; and
(f)
notwithstanding any other law or practice, the establishment of new provinces.


38.
(1) An amendment to the Constitution of Canada may be made by proclamation issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada where so authorized by
(a)
resolutions of the Senate and House of Commons; and
(b)
resolutions of the legislative assemblies of at least two-thirds of the provinces that have, in the aggregate, according to the then latest general census, at least fifty per cent of the population of all the provinces.

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