At a press conference on Parliament Hill on Tuesday, November 13, Peter Van Loan, Minister Responsible for Democratic Reform, joined Senator Marjorie LeBreton, Leader of the Government on the Senate to give the Conservative position on senate reform.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) has called for the abolishment of the senate as a platform issue for a long time. The combined votes of the two parties will carry the day.
"We (Conservatives and the NDP) are open to different approaches to the details of senate reform, but we will not compromise on one fundamental aspect: the senate must change," said Van Loan.
The previous Liberal government put forward changes to the Senate. These proposals were rejected by the Senate, who sent it to the Supreme Court.
"If that change cannot happen through reform, then we believe the Senate must be abolished. But this is not our preferred route," said Van Loan.
The Reform/Canadian Alliance which make up the majority of the Conservative Party have supported an elected senate like the United States has.
"The Senators refused to carry out their constitutional obligation," said Van Loan, referring to the senate rejecting the senate reform bill.
The Senate hasn't been reformed since its conception and is an ongoing joke, being referred to as a "taskless thanks".
Among the reforms is the reduction of the term in office to eight years. Senators would also be selected locally; the candidates would then be presented to the Prime Minister, who would have right of final decision.
"This will allow Canadians to pass judgment on the conduct of senators, who will now have to be accountable for the decisions they make, the work they do and the pay they receive," said Van Loan.
Van Loan has the experience to undertake the task of senate reform. He was very active in the union of the Canadian Alliance Party and the Progressive Conservative Party to form the Conservative Party. Van Loan has been active at every level of politics since he was twelve years of age.
Peter Van Loan is taking on the Senate (4)