Senate reform starts with the people

NANAIMO – The first step in the process of Senate reform would be to acknowledge that Canada is still a colony.

To the Editor,

The first step in the process of Senate reform would be to acknowledge that Canada is still a colony, and that we are being ruled by an Act of Parliament, not a Constitution:

The Queen is our head of state as well as commander-in-chief of our armed forces, and all legislation must have ‘royal assent’ by our Governor General and lieutenant governors before becoming law.

The second step in the process would be to ask Canadians, by virtue of a binding national referendum if they want to accept the 1982 Constitution Act of Canada as their Constitution, or to write a Constitution that will produce democratic governments.

Democratic governments elected by the majority of the voting people are stable and productive, and have an honest mandate to govern.

A Senate would become redundant.

The proposal that a handful of politicians arbitrarily can amend a Constitution is ridiculous.

Insisting on party discipline has devastated our democratic institutions and is now producing dictator-style governments that have turned the legislative process into a dog and pony show that is more representative of a banana-republic, where contempt of Parliament has become the rule, not the exception.

To amend the Constitution, including the Senate, without going to the people with a binding national referendum, would be nothing less than another act of contempt.

In a democracy, a Constitution belongs to the people and can only be adopted, amended, and defeated by the people.

That is why the first step in the process of Senate reform would have to begin with severing our colonial ties with the Queen to become a sovereign democratic society, where the people are equal and united in citizenship.

Andy Thomsen

Summerland