Thursday, December 6, 2012

Next May BC should hold an election for the open Senate seat

After almost 19 years in the Senate, on November 6th we saw the retirement of Gerry St Germain.   The timing is very interesting given that we have a provincial election in May.    The cost of adding a Senate election on the ballot for next May would be not that much at all so why not have a vote on it?   The current government has made noises about holding an election for Senators so is not as if the idea is out of left field.

Only Alberta is holding any elections for the Senate which means only two of the 53 Senators appointed by Stephen Harper were not left up to him.   As long as we are going to have a Senate, why not elect the members?  Even more interesting would be if the election were done with a preferential ballot.

Running a Senate race in BC would interesting because the NDP is not going run a candidate and the BC Liberals are not formally aligned with any of the federal parties.   Realistically we would see a federal Conservative  federal Liberal and a Green run for the Senate seat.   The Senate race would bring a new set of issues to the election discussion.

I am sure the NDP would not be thrilled to have a Senate race going on because the Federal NDP has never been anywhere as popular in BC as the provincial party.   I could see them being afraid that having this race and not taking part may impact their popularity.

Ideally I would want to see the people running for Senate doing so formally connected to provincial parties.   Electing a BC Liberal to the Senate would do a lot more for raising provincial issues in Ottawa than elected a federally aligned person.

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