It's true that a Triple-E Senate will never happen in Canada, because as we saw in the case of the Charlottetown Accord Ontario and Québec will never accept the Equal E unless the Effective E is gutted. Thus at most we can have any two of the three Es but not all three.

At the moment we have only one E: Effective. The Senate has all the powers it needs with one exception. The exception is that the Senate cannot block proposed Constitutional Amendments, only delay them. Unfortunately the Effective E only exists on paper, because the Senators lack the democratic accountability necessary for them to perform their vital Constitutional function of ensuring that proposed legislation is only passed into law if it has broad national acceptance.

The necessity of a Senate which can perform that function comes from the definition of democracy. Democracy is the English form of the Greek word δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) meaning "people rule". Democracy is therefore a system of government in which the people is sovereign and the government derives its authority from the people. Contrary to a widely believed but mistaken idea, people is not the plural of person, the word people means the whole population of a country or other jurisdiction.

In a democracy then, all of us rule together. For this reason, a government where a simple majority can impose its will on the whole population is NOT a democracy. To avoid that we need a Senate where representation is geographically based with effective powers AND the democratic legitimacy to use those powers.

We can have that too. We can amend the Constitution by building on the Senate's current basis of equal representation of four divisions of Canada and providing for Senators to be elected at federal elections, tying the size of the House to the size of the Senate, and adopting the brilliant mechanism the Aussies of have had for over 120 for resolving disagreements between the Houses. Such a mechanism is needed so that the deeply divisive issues at the root of all such disagreements get resolved rather than festering in the body public (as in the US) or being swept under the rug and ignored (as in Canada).

How do I know we can have that you ask? I have written a draft Amendment providing for precisely that structure of the two Houses, in both English and French. And I'm proud to say when one of my francophone friends online reviewed by French text she only suggested some VERY minor alterations and told that my proposal speaks to her.

That told me that my proposal could have a real chance to be accepted. Seven provinces with well over 50% of the population — the number needed to ratify an Amendment under the General formula — would gain greater Senate representation in both number and percentage of Senate seats under my proposal. That alone might be enough for them to want it.

Expand full comment

I haven't read this article but I did watch the video and I don't see how this will happen without a Constitutional Convention being organized. The people in power at all levels of government are happy with they system as it is because it works for them. They designed it, populated it and operate it.

As I see it the Parliamentary system isn't democratic but is inherently autocratic and is just one step away from being a monarchy. I'm not saying the U.S. system is better, although I do think it is better on paper.

The U.S. republic has in many ways also become a Parliamentary system in that the separation of powers has been lost. The 2 chamber of Congress now operate like a Parliament where both parties demand party loyalty. Working with a member of the other party isn't allowed today as it was when I was growing up. And we now have an unelected Technocracy that funds, employs and buys off our politicians.

We need an Elected, Effective and Equal Senate but that won't happen because the biggest provinces like their over representation in both the House of Commons and the Senate. The media is also not going to be on board with Canada having too much Democracy as they will see it. They also benefit from the present system.

Salim would really need to tear the whole system down and start all over again. COVID has taught us many ugly truths about our government and leaders. COVID was over 2 years of population control using behaviorism and it worked. I don't think that the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP are going to unlearn just how far they can push us without any opposition. We are a police state.

Expand full comment

A tour de force analysis of how the Canadian Charter can be abused by parliaments and courts to treat criminals and friends on the correct side of their preferred narratives as sovereigns even as truckers are ridiculed and jailed for demanding the same status. The patriation of the Charter in 1982 may have missed an opportunity to resolve the "sovereignty" issue but it did create an expectation in "Charter Canadians" the "we the people" is a real thing.

Expand full comment