Senate Reform Act (C)

Ms. Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, there are a couple of different aspects of the bill that are troubling. I spoke earlier in terms of the constitutional ways in which we become ensnared. However, we have not had an adequate discussion across Canada of the difference it will make to the house of sober second thought continuing under this legislation once it is able to claim some legitimacy through the quasi election process before the Prime Minister appoints them.

I wonder if the hon. member has any concerns that we might create much more of a system like the United States where there would be constant gridlock between an elected House and a quasi elected Senate.

Mr. Alex Atamanenko: Mr. Speaker, I truly welcome my hon. colleague’s presence here in the House. We will be collaborating on a bill that I will be introducing on the department of peace.

I think there could be problems with an elected Senate. When we are elected, especially if we want to be re-elected, sometimes the focus is not on the actual job but on being re-elected.

I would say that, if we are to retain a Senate, perhaps it should be people from all segments of society who are appointed by an impartial board. They could then focus on what they need to do for that period of time and not worry about whether they would be elected, re-elected or what the government is doing and be, as my colleague from Nova Scotia said, completely independent of the government of the day.