Senate serves a valuable purpose

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The Telegram’s editorial of Feb. 14 starts “Congratulations: as a Canadian taxpayer, you’re the proud purchaser of your very own Senator. Senators are popular and fun pets.”

No doubt that while the editorial amused some and resonated with others, it must have been disheartening for senators genuinely dedicated to the public service, and reinforces a perception that is unfortunate.

 

Good work being carried out

Too often all that is heard in the media about this august body is negative, without mention of the good works, for example in the committees and the “sober second-thought” considerations, especially when the discussion is more objective than partisan.

A senator recently said that there is a need to provide better information about Senate activities. Since the proceedings of Senate and Senate committees are readily available on the government website, this need is probably more related to image than information.

Senators have duty of care, openness and accountability to the taxpaying public they serve, without which perceptions may lead to convictions that the service is simply not worth the cost. Which would be a shame for such a venerable institution.

 

Denis Drown

St. John’s

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Recent comments

  • Pierre Neary
    February 20, 2013 - 16:02

    Denis, I tend to agree. Good work is being carried out. Rick Mercer summed it up pretty good the other night. Harper just has to pick better Senators.

    • david
      February 21, 2013 - 09:01

      Wow. A 175-year old political instution's dysfunction is placed at the feet of a party that was in power for less than 20% of the country's entire history, a current government that has been in power for a mere decade, and whose stated position is to reform or abolish it. ........Come clean Danny: are you Reveen's more talented brother??

  • david
    February 20, 2013 - 10:55

    Well, that is an "Opinion", and if there is anywhere that such thoughts merit being published, this is one place for it.....so there's that.

  • Anna
    February 20, 2013 - 09:44

    Dennis, you along with Stephen Harper and all the other past Prime Ministers must think voters are stupid and naive. This Senate has become a dumping ground to reward people who have been loyal to the government or to fix a government vote. You get paid until you are 75 for showing up to vote, and even if you don't you still get paid. And even this is not enough for some of the senators as they are now lying about where they live to get more money. This whole Senate might have served it's purpose in the past but does nothing now for Canadians. It should be abolished and the money spent on legitimate issues.

  • Eli
    February 20, 2013 - 07:28

    They all vote along party lines. "Openness and accountability" are in the eye of the beerholder in the Senate.

  • Ron Tizzard
    February 20, 2013 - 07:15

    Dennis, give me a break...please! The Senate is nothing but a 'retirement home' at best, then a dumping ground, providing an unjustified hefty income for party favorites, and flunkies of Ministers. It should be shut down, and let its business be completed where it should be in a FUNCTIONAL HOUSE OF COMMONS. Canada's entire public governance (Federal Political System) is screaming out for review and change. There seems to be no order or accountability...yes, so much SPIN AND YAWN...REALLY! HOW MUCH ARE THESE 'senate status', UNELECTED PEOPLE REWARDED? Forget it, please don't remind me, i'M FEELING NAUSEOUS!