Monday, May 10, 2010

Senate Sense

Nation, I'm on day 2 and a half of what feels like the mother of all head-and-chest colds, so I'm going to skip the usual 18 pages today, and just get right to the heart of the matter.

Alberta needs to hold senatorial elections this fall. Whether in conjunction with the municipal elections (which makes the most financial sense) or separately, they NEED to happen.

I'll admit I'm a little confused about the "party nominees" thing in relation to Alberta senate elections - I mean, if a Wildrose nominee gets elected senator-in-waiting, and the Prime Minister appoints that nominee to the Upper Chamber in Ottawa, does that senator sit as a "Wildrose Alliance" member of the Canadian Senate? I think PROBABLY not... but then, we DO still have a Progressive Conservative in the Senate, representing a party that ceased to exist federally years ago, so you never can tell...

At any rate, that debate is secondary to the larger fact that the public, and the people who have won these races in the past, are all calling for new senatorial elections. The Government of Alberta needs to find a way to walk this issue back and announce they're holding elections - or, alternatively, just take a page out of Ralph's playbook, get up in front of a podium, and say "We screwed up. You took us to task and we heard you - elections are going ahead this October".

Either way, it needs to happen.

A refusal to hold the elections now, in a display of flagrant disregard for public sentiment and the expressed wishes of those who have already been given a mandate by the public to serve in the Senate, looks less like policy and more like hesitation to face the voters.

Voters in Alberta will forgive a lot of things, provided a public servant has the stones to stand up and apologize for the mistake.

The one thing they won't forgive is a politician - or a government - that looks like it doesn't care what they have to say.

Do the right thing, gang.


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