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An elected Canadian Senate ?

Not again! Yes, again. This time with a new call for an elected Canadian Senate, and this time with a new caller.

Penny Collenette, Prime Minister Chrétien's former director of appointments, adds her voice to the growing number of Canadians who can no longer tolerate the prospect of an appointed, unelected, undemocratic chamber of Parliament continuing indefinitely into the twenty-first century without regard for the most fundamental ethic of democracy, free election.

One man, and one man only, has the power to appoint members to sit in the Senate of Canada. As has been pointed out on numerous occasions, one man, and one man only, has the power to bring an end to the spectacle of patronage run rampant as exemplified in the continued existence of the appointed, unelected, undemocratic Canadian Senate, without amending the Constitution.

It was done once. A precedent was set. There was no immediate outcry from concerned citizens that the hallowed principle of political patronage had been ignored, no marching in the streets to demand that democracy be stamped out, no placard waving throngs crying for the return of unfettered patronage rights to the Prime Minster of the day.

That the Prime Minister's former director of appointments, a post she held from 1993 to 1977 during which time she advised him on appointments to the Senate, should now, six years later, question the manner of appointing, not electing, Senators, is an a further indication that the system is no longer sustainable.

"To me, if you look at good governance right now, I believe it's very hard to accept the fact that individuals-no matter how qualified, and there are many qualified individuals in the Senate, and many individuals who do great work-are appointed solely at the prerogative of the Prime Minister to sit in a Chamber that is unaccountable, until age 75."

The cynical might say that the penny has finally dropped. Better late than never. Ms. Collennette's musings may inspire others to speak up, and speak out.


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