Letter: A new proposal for choosing Canada’s senators

Wednesday, November 18 2020

At the present time, senators in Canada are appointed by the Prime Minister, through the Governor General. There is no election held for these positions.

In the U.S., senators (two per state) are chosen by each state’s legislature. Starting in 1913, U.S. senators were chosen by the electorate, and so it has been ever since.

Why not experiment here in Canada by having an election for our senators? We should use every federal election to elect our senators too. And in a nod to proportional representation, we could choose each province’s senators based on the proportion of the vote in each province that each party received.

Smaller parties would be able to be represented in the senate based on a smaller result in general elections.

At the present time, there is no small party representation in the senate. In addition, because senators represent provinces at large, they would not be tied to local ridings. This would also eliminate lifetime appointments to Canada’s Upper House. We should also reapportion the number of senators per province.

At the present time, Prince Edward Island has four senators to BC’s six, even though BC has fifty times the population of PEI. Put the number of senators per province on a gradient from one in PEI to twenty four in Ontario, based on population.

Is it a go?

~ Gregg Cherrington-Kelly