Thursday, November 7, 2019

Senate Reform - Part 1.5 (Powers)

I wanted to make a quick detour before continuing on to Seat Distribution to quickly broach the issue of powers. Before I do, however, I wanted to correct something from the first part; that is that the government can change the retirement age without consulting the provinces. It seems my information is out-dated; while this was once true, it is no longer true, and such a change would require 2/3rds consent from the provinces.

As for what powers the Senate would have, I'd like to review what powers the current Senate has; which is just about all of them. Like most (if not all) other countries, only the lower house may introduce a money bill (IE the budget), and the Senate can only delay any amendments to the constitution (at least, those that do not involve itself) as opposed to vetoing them; but it can amend or veto any other bill it chooses to.

Many proposals for Senate reform come with changes to the powers of the Senate. Some look at the US or Australia and worry that some sort of "EEE" Senate would clash with the house too frequently, and look to thus reduce the powers of the Senate.

Since these are almost always tied to specific proposals, instead of addressing them here, I wanted to make clear that I will be addressing them when I look at the specific proposals.

As such, this is not a full "part" of the series, only a quick note on how the series will progress.

Tomorrow, Seat Distribution.

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