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Canada's Senate: Sober second thought

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❶Senate committees have produced careful studies on unemployment , land use, science policy , poverty , aging , the mass media see Communications and Indian affairs.

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And while we are at it: The whole thing is an outdated mess. A baby step would be term limits. I think you guys are overvaluing the benefit of a Senate. I think we can all agree that over the past couple of decades at least the Senate has been, with some exceptions, nothing more than a rubber stamping factory. So essentially it's been useless and provided very little benefit to the country.

And nothing bad has happened, has it? We have a constitution, we have the Charter, and we have elections every four years — that should be all we need for checks and balances. What say you to this: We abolish the Senate and also bring about proportional representation reform for the House of Commons. That should guarantee a more balanced government, with fewer majorities, and ease my mind a bit on the need for a Senate. We need less government, not more.

And think of millions in savings. So, what do you think? Have your say in the comments area below. Pulse of Canada appears each Wednesday and Friday on Yahoo! Pulse of Canada February 15, A police officer is suing the city of Chicago for overtime when he answers work related emails after his shifts. The prime minister, along with the other ministers in cabinet , is appointed by the governor general on behalf of the monarch.

While there is no legal requirement for the prime minister to be a member of parliament , for practical and political reasons the prime minister is expected to win a seat very promptly. Macdonald in and John Sparrow David Thompson in That convention has since evolved toward the appointment of an interim leader from the commons in such a scenario.

Prime ministers who are not Members of Parliament upon their appointment or who lose their seats while in office have since been expected to seek election to the commons as soon as possible.

For example, William Lyon Mackenzie King , after losing his seat in the federal election that his party won , briefly "governed from the hallway" before winning a by-election a few weeks later. Similarly, John Turner replaced Pierre Trudeau as leader of the Liberal Party in and subsequently was appointed prime minister while not holding a seat in the House of Commons; Turner won a riding in the next election but the Liberal Party was swept from power.

Turner was the last serving prime minister to not hold a commons seat. Should a serving prime minister today lose his or her seat in the legislature, or should a new prime minister be appointed without holding a seat, the typical process that follows is that a junior member in the governing political party will resign to allow the prime minister to run in the resulting by-election. However, if the governing party selects a new leader shortly before an election is due, and that new leader is not a member of the legislature, he or she will normally await the upcoming election before running for a seat in parliament.

The Canadian prime minister serves at Her Majesty's pleasure , meaning the post does not have a fixed term. Once appointed and sworn in by the governor general, the prime minister remains in office until he or she resigns, is dismissed, or dies. As of , with an amendment to the Elections Act, Section Following parliamentary dissolution, the prime minister must run in the resulting general election if he or she wishes to maintain a seat in the House of Commons. Should the prime minister's party subsequently win a majority of seats in the House of Commons, it is unnecessary to re-appoint the prime minister or again swear him or her into office.

Should the prime minister's party achieve a minority while an opposition party wins a plurality i. This option was last entertained in Because the prime minister is, in practice, the most politically powerful member of the Canadian government , he or she is sometimes erroneously referred to as Canada's head of state , [n 2] when, in fact, that post is held by the Canadian monarch , represented by the governor general.

However, the function of the prime minister has evolved with increasing power. Today, as per the doctrines of constitutional monarchy , the advice given by the prime minister is ordinarily binding, meaning the prime minister effectively carries out those duties ascribed to the sovereign or governor general, leaving the latter to act in predominantly ceremonial fashions.

Further, the prime minister plays a prominent role in the legislative process—with the majority of bills put before parliament originating in the Cabinet—and the leadership of the Canadian Armed Forces. Pierre Trudeau is credited with, throughout his tenure as prime minister between and , consolidating power in the PMO, [18] which is itself filled by political and administrative staff selected at the prime minister's discretion and unaccountable to parliament.

At the end of the 20th century and into the 21st, analysts—such as Jeffrey Simpson , [19] Donald Savoie , Andrew Coyne , [20] and John Gomery —argued that both parliament and the Cabinet had become eclipsed by prime ministerial power; [n 3] [21] Savoie wrote: There do exist checks on the prime minister's power: The Reform Act, , [30] codifies the process by which a caucus may trigger a party leadership review and, if necessary, chose an interim leader, thereby making a prime minister more accountable to the MPs in his or her party.

Caucuses may choose to follow these rules, though the decision would be made by recorded vote, thereby subjecting the party's choice to public scrutiny. The Senate may delay or impede legislation put forward by the Cabinet, such as when Brian Mulroney 's bill creating the Goods and Services Tax GST came before the upper chamber and, given Canada's federal nature , the jurisdiction of the federal government is limited to areas prescribed by the constitution.

Further, as executive power is constitutionally vested in the monarch, meaning the Royal Prerogative belongs to the Crown and not to any of its ministers, [32] [33] [34] the sovereign's supremacy over the prime minister in the constitutional order is thus seen as a "rebuff to the pretensions of the elected: As it has been said, when the Prime Minister bows before the Queen, he bows before us [the Canadian people].

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police also furnish constant personal security for the prime minister and his or her family. Should a serving or former prime minister die, he or she is accorded a state funeral , wherein their casket lies in state in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill. John Thompson also died outside Canada, at Windsor Castle , where Queen Victoria permitted his lying-in-state before his body was returned to Canada for a state funeral in Halifax.

In earlier years, it was traditional for the monarch to bestow a knighthood on newly appointed Canadian prime ministers. Accordingly, several carried the prefix Sir before their name; of the first eight premiers of Canada, only Alexander Mackenzie refused the honour of a knighthood from Queen Victoria. Following the Nickle Resolution , however, it was against non-binding policy for the sovereign to grant such honorific titles to Canadians; the last prime minister to be knighted was Sir Robert Borden , who was premier at the time the Nickle Resolution was debated in the House of Commons.

The Canadian Heraldic Authority CHA has granted former prime ministers an augmentation of honour on the personal coat of arms of those who pursued them. The heraldic badge, referred to by the CHA as the mark of the Prime Ministership of Canada , [43] consists of four red maple leaves joined at the stem on a white field "Argent four maple leaves conjoined in cross at the stem Gules" ; the augmentation has, so far, been granted either as a canton sinister or centred in the chief.

Canada continues the Westminster tradition of using the title Prime Minister when one is speaking to the federal head of government directly; this is in contrast to the United States protocol of addressing the federal head of government as mister as in, Mister President ; the Department of Canadian Heritage advises that it is incorrect to use the term Mr Prime Minister.

In the decades following Confederation, it was common practice to refer to the prime minister as Premier of Canada , [50] [51] [52] a custom that continued until the First World War , around the time of Robert Borden's premiership. The Prime Minister—designate of Canada refers to the person who has been designated as the future prime minister by the Governor General , after either winning a general election, forming a confidence and supply government, or forming an coalition government.

The term does not apply to incumbent prime ministers. After exiting office, former prime ministers of Canada have engaged in various pursuits. Some remained in politics: Bowell continued to serve as a senator, Stephen Harper returned to the House of Commons as a backbench Member of Parliament, and Bennett moved to the United Kingdom after being elevated to the House of Lords.

Laurent , [64] and John Turner, each before they returned to private business. Meighen was also appointed to the Senate following his second period as prime minister, but resigned his seat to seek re-election and moved to private enterprise after failing to win a riding. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 10 August This article is about the position of Prime Minister of Canada.

Federal electoral districts Federal electoral system 42nd federal election Provincial electoral districts Politics of the provinces. Federalism Structure of the federal government Constitutional law Royal prerogative Regions Political culture Foreign relations Office-holders Political movements Aboriginal self-government First Nations bands.

Queen's Privy Council for Canada. Canadian politics portal Canada portal. Archived from the original on June 1, Retrieved September 21, An Introduction 5 ed. Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved June 7, King's Printer for Canada published October 1, Retrieved May 29, Archived from the original on June 16, Retrieved May 18, Queen's Printer for Canada, pp.

Retrieved November 26, Ipsos Reid, December 15, , p. The Crown in Canada: Present Realities and Future Options.

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On May 30, , Bill S-4 was introduced in the Senate, proposing an amendment to the Constitution Act, , so as to limit the term of a newly appointed senator to eight years, though sitting senators would serve out their term to age Voting system: Appointment by the Governor-General on advice of the Prime Minister.

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The House of Commons of Canada (French: Chambre des communes du Canada) is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign (represented by the Governor General) and the Senate. The House of Commons chamber is located in the Centre Block of .

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Senators are at an impasse over SENATE reform, and Peter Van Loan, the government House Leader, is talking as though Canadian democracy is under siege. The Court said creating an elected Senate with nine-year term limits required the consent of seven provinces with 50 per cent of the population. And it said abolishing the .

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Canada’s Senate consists of politicians, known as senators, who have been appointed by various Canadian prime ministers. They used to serve for life, but in , this was changed to merely make their terms last until their 75th birthday (though the last life-term senator did not retire until ). Canadian Senate Amends Cannabis Act to Limit THC, Allow Provincial Bans on Homegrow. Harrison Jordan. May 31, (Rambleon/iStock) As Canada’s Cannabis Act nears its final reading in the.