Canada's Senate should be abolished because it doesn't adequately represent Ontario, the province's premier said Thursday.
A day after Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he hopes that senators will have to run for office before the next general election, Premier Dalton McGuinty said he would prefer that the upper chamber is tossed out entirely.
"My preference is that we eliminate the Senate,'' McGuinty told reporters after a party fundraising dinner in Toronto.
McGuinty said Ontario currently has only 24 members in the 105-seat Senate, well below the number he believes it should have, based on the province's population.
"We're 40 per cent of the country by way of population and at least 40 per cent by way of contribution to the GDP, but we only have 22 per cent of the Senate seats,'' McGuinty said.
If it is not abolished, the Senate should at least be changed to reflect the population distribution, he said.
Never mind that in practically all federal states--the United States, Australia, Germany, etc.--an upper house based on equal representation of the member states is considered a necessary counterweight to a lower house based on representation by population. Never mind that it prevents larger states from running roughshod over the interest of smaller states, and provides smaller states a forum for their interests that might otherwise go unheard.
McGuinty is making his position clear: Ontario will not share power with anyone, or stop conflating its interest with the national interest. This is a clear warning to Westerners who might be getting too big for their boots because a Westerner is PM under a Western-friendly Conservative government.
Ontario has traditionally been so comfortable in its role as the rich uncle and heavyweight of Confederation that it hasn't had to brag about throwing its weight around.
But as the West keeps growing in wealth, population and political influence, Ontario now finds itself faced with an upstart colony turned competitor.
McGuinty's arrogant boasts underscore the fear in the hearts of Upper Canada's Family Compact that their days of unquestioned economic and political dominance are
ending. Even the rural hinterlands have joined the Alberta upstarts in the revolt against Muddy York.
You don't know fear until you've seen it in the eyes of a declining aristocracy.
Source: National Post