Canada coa_shield

Debate concerning Bill S-8
An Act respecting the selection of senators

Extract from the Hansard, 40th Parliament, 3rd session: April 29, 2010  2

with personal comments inked in  2

Hon. Bert Brown moved second reading of Bill S-8, An Act respecting the selection of senators.  3

He said: Honourable senators, BillS-8 is an act respecting the selection of senators. It is an offer to the provinces to draft their own legislation, hold elections in their provinces and to fill future vacancies in this chamber with elected senators.  3-1

When the bill comes into effect, it will not be a legal directive to the provinces. BillS-8 will give the voters of each province an opportunity to democratically choose future senators or leave the decision to the office of the current Prime Minister and future prime ministers.  3-2

What follows here looks to me to be a nice, clear overview of the considerations underlying a move toward appointing elected senators. Nevertheless, I do not believe our country would be well served with the proposal as expressed in my essay..  n3-2

Honourable senators, I will begin with a little of the history of how we arrived at this bill and what motivated us to take on this cause. I quote from Claire Hoy's book, Nice Work: The Continuing Scandal of Canada's Senate  3-3

      On Thursday, October13, 1864, the fourth day of the Quebec conference, Macdonald introduced a resolution drafted by the Canadian cabinet on just what would happen to the Senate. The proposal ignited a full week of rancorous debate over both the composition of the Senate and whether members would be appointed or elected. It is important to recall the population disparity between the various players at the time of the Confederation debate since fears from the smaller groups of being smothered by the larger ones was at the heart of the disagreement.  3-4

Two years before the act of Confederation was signed in Prince Edward Island, a man by the name of George Brown explained  3-5

      Our Lower Canada friends have agreed to give us representation by population in the Lower House, on the express condition that they shall have equality in the Upper House. On no other condition could we have advanced a step;  3-6

Mr. Hoy also quotes Sir John A. Macdonald in 1865 Confederation Debates  3-7

      In order to protect local interests, and to prevent sectional jealousies, it was found requisite that the three great divisions into which British North America is separated, should be represented in the Upper House on the principle of equality.  3-8

That is how this chamber began. The desire for equality of the provinces in the Senate stems from those quotes. The provinces are sovereign and each has its own legislature to empower, to pass legislation on health care, education, social services, manpower and immigration. This bill has been over 26 years in the making.  3-9

On August13, 1983, a few Albertans decided to form a national Triple-E committee to promote the election of senators, change the representation by province and preserve the powers of the Red Chamber. For two years, forums were held in towns across the province to discuss Senate reform. The government became involved, and in 1985, a special select committee of Albertans filed a report to that end. The legislature passed a Senatorial Selection Act. Despite nationwide media criticism of an election for senators, the Alberta government chose democracy.  3-10

Early in the fall of 1989, the Triple-E committee was invited to speak to the parliamentary committee on the Meech Lake Accord. Dr. David Elton and I made presentations to that joint committee of the House of Commons and the Senate. A brief window of opportunity opened when Prime Minister Mulroney said he would only appoint senators from a list of names submitted by a province.  3-11

Alberta, in 1989, held the first senatorial election concurrently with a municipal election. There were provincial Progressive Conservative, Liberal and Reform Party of Alberta candidates and independents. The names and number of votes for each candidate were put on a list and given to the Prime Minister. Months later, in June of 1990, the winner of that election, retired General Stan Waters, a Reform candidate, walked into history as the first elected senator in Canada's Parliament.  3-12

The Triple-E committee participated in the hearings of the Charlottetown Accord held in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. The Charlottetown Accord died on a vote in 1992 primarily because it did not, in the minds of most Canadian voters, meet their expectations. It took on the interests of the provinces, the interests of Quebec, the interests of Aboriginal people, the issue of gender parity and the issue of Senate reform. Too many ideas in one document gave each voter at least one reason to vote no. All but two provinces voted against the Charlottetown Accord in a referendum in 1992.  3-13

There were subsequent Alberta elections for senators-in-waiting in 1998 and again in 2004. The two Reform candidates who won in 1998 were passed over by Prime Minister Chrétien and Prime Minister Martin, despite there being a number of Senate vacancies in Alberta during their tenures as prime ministers.  3-14

In 2004, three Progressive Conservative candidates and one independent were elected, and they too were passed over by Prime Minister Martin. In 2007, Prime Minister Harper appointed the winning Progressive Conservative candidate to the vacancy created by the retirement of long-serving Liberal Senator Dan Hays.  3-15

As that appointee, on behalf of Prime Minister Harper, I began a third Canada-wide trip to promote senatorial elections. Five provinces and two territorial government premiers or ministers of intergovernmental affairs agreed with elections, as long as the Prime Minister covered the cost of the elections.  3-16

A number of Liberal MPs and senators protested that Senate elections could be constitutionally challenged. To date, there have been no constitutional challenges after three elections. The New Democratic Party has for many years claimed the Senate should be abolished. This is not politically possible and is not what the people of Canada want. For over a generation, numerous polls in every province have shown a large majority of Canadians everywhere want future senators to be elected by the same people who vote for provincial MLAs and federal members of Parliament. I quote  3-17

      Probably on no other public question in Canada has there been such unanimity of opinion as on that of the necessity for Senate reform.  3-18

The author of that quote is Robert Mackay. The book is The Unreformed Senate of Canada, written in 1926.  3-19

During the life of the Triple-E committee, we have communicated verbally and in writing with 60 provincial premiers and Prime Ministers Trudeau, Clark, again Trudeau, Turner, Mulroney, Campbell, Chrétien, Martin, and Prime Minister Harper. Prime Minister Harper is the only prime minister in Canada's history that has ever committed to Senate elections from the time he was a member of Parliament, Conservative Party leader and up to and including his years as Prime Minister.  3-20

Despite the desires of Canadians for election of senators, neither the House of Commons members nor the senators have voted to begin a serious attempt to elect future members to the Red Chamber. Prime Minister Harper was faced with growing Senate vacancies after more than a year in power. A Liberal senator actually introduced a bill proposing that the Prime Minister should be constitutionally required to fill Senate vacancies. Lacking any opposition support for Senate elections in the Houses of Commons or the Senate, Prime Minister Harper appointed 18 senators in 2009. The steadfast reluctance to embrace any form of elections would, over a nearly two-year period, make appointments of Conservatives predictable until a majority is reached. That was the only way to end the 121year Liberal majority in the Senate.  3-21

The Liberals have held Senate majorities for 70 years with only two brief exceptions to date. The last Liberal majority in the Senate refused to deal with Canadians' expressed desire to bring democracy to the Red Chamber and refused to open the door to Senate elections. Honourable senators, that situation has changed.  3-22

That brings me back to BillS-8, an act respecting the selection of senators, the bill I speak to today, honourable senators. This bill cannot be constitutionally challenged because it is an offer from the Prime Minister to the provinces to hold senatorial elections. It is in no way a legislative command. For those provinces that develop their own legislation to elect senators who would represent their voters in a Senate of the future, the provinces should know that Prime Minister Harper will consider the outcome, as he has with Alberta senatorial elections and will in Saskatchewan and Manitoba's future senatorial elections.  3-23

Provinces will not be forced to hold such elections. There will be no threats, no pressure, no penalty, only the will of the Canadian voters. Provinces that do not hold democratic elections for future vacancies created naturally by retiring senators will again force prime ministers to appoint without the votes of the people.  3-24

This bill is but the first step to a reformed Senate. The next two steps can only be done when elected senators prove their worth to their provinces and when elected senators are close to a majority in the Senate. Within a decade, that is possible.  3-25

At some future point, the provincial governments and Parliament will need to draft a stand-alone constitutional amendment to agree on the future representation in the Senate and retain the supremacy of the House of Commons without crippling the powers of the Senate. Faced with a confirmed constitutional reform of the Senate, the Senate chamber has only a 180-day suspensive veto.  3-26

Honourable senators, this historic act by our Prime Minister will ultimately lead to the provinces and territories having a real voice, a vote and, if necessary, a veto. This amendment will constitute sober second thought, backed up by the elected members in both houses of Parliament.  3-27

At the same time, a veto of a bill by the Senate will not be a vote of confidence. The bill will simply die and the Commons can rewrite the bill or, realizing that a majority of elected senators in each of seven provinces representing more than 50percent of the population oppose the bill, let it expire.  3-28

Honourable senators, I propose BillS-8, An Act respecting the selection of senators, for your thoughtful consideration on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who made possible the journey of the bill to this chamber and at this time.  3-29

I quote Lord Andrew Adonis, who recently spoke to the 700-year-old House of Lords when he said  3-30

      ...the time has now come to make it legitimate in the only way that a legislative assembly can be legitimate in the modern world, which is to be elected...  3-31

I am prepared to answer all the questions that members of this chamber ask of me in the coming months. However, at the end of each question or concern honourable senators bring forward, the overarching final answer will be: We do this not for any political affiliation or philosophy. We do it to give voice to the Canadian people, and for democracy in this chamber, and for this century.  3-32

Hon. James S. Cowan (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I have a couple of questions, and I wonder if I can take the honourable senator's offer to answer them.  4

Senator Brown described his cross-country speaking tour, and I know he has been across the country speaking to premiers and other provincial political leaders over the past couple of years, and probably before then. The honourable senator mentioned that a number of them had agreed to this type of process, providing they did not have to pay for it.  4-1

As I understand the proposal contained in this bill, it will be a provincial responsibility and therefore all costs associated, both with the running of the elections and running for election, will be borne at the provincial level — there will be no federal contribution.  4-2

Have any of the provincial governments — and I perhaps leave Alberta aside because Alberta has already financed three Senate elections — indicated to the honourable senator that they are prepared to participate in the process described in this legislation?  4-3

Senator Brown: In answer to the honourable senator's question about who will pay for elections, there is only one taxpayer in this country. Taxpayers are paying either provincial or federal taxes. Which tax they are paying is irrelevant.  5

The reason the bill copies Alberta's act electing senators by provincial methods is because the premiers that we contacted on the third trip across Canada wanted a buy-in. They wanted to know that if they go ahead with elections of any kind, that the prime minister will be forced in some way, or at least forced by his or her character, to go forward with the winners of those elections.  5-1

That is the reason why we have the provinces not only hold elections but those elected are answerable to the provincial leader of the party they represent, the way I am. I am an invited member of this caucus, but also I am an elected member of the provincial caucus of Alberta. I still join them, when I can, in their chambers.  5-2

I think that is about all I need to tell the honourable senator on that question, unless he has another one.  5-3

Senator Cowan: Honourable senators, I do have another question, and I want an answer to the first question. Can Senator Brown identify the provinces that have indicated that they are prepared to support a process they will pay for? I recognize the business about there being one taxpayer, but the money will come out of provincial government revenues. Can the honourable senator name the provinces that have indicated to him that they are prepared to support a process where they would run elections for election to a federal body?  6

Senator Brown: Honourable senators, Saskatchewan has passed legislation. They have not mentioned in their bill, as far as I can read it, whether they expect someone else to pay or they will pay themselves.  7

In June2007, Manitoba passed an act that is funny in its scope. It starts off with, ``Whereas we prefer to abolish the Senate,'' and then has many more ``whereases,'' but it says if the Prime Minister wants to elect senators, we will elect ours.  7-1

Last year, a committee was created to travel across Manitoba to see how Manitobans would elect their senators, not ``if.'' That committee completed its work when we testified on a day in May of last year. The committee was ready to put forward their proposal for how elections would occur when the Prime Minister appointed their Premier, Gary Doer, Ambassador of Canada to the United States.  7-27-2

From then on, the committee decided to hold their bill until they had picked a new premier and everyone was satisfied with the proposal. I understand they have completed the proposal and will submit it soon.  7-3

Former Senator Pat Carney pointed out that British Columbia has legislation for electing senators that now lies dormant because it had a sunset clause. When Pat Carney left this chamber, she said that legislation could be reactivated with a one-sentence amendment. I am not sure where British Columbia stands on the legislation now.  7-4

When I travelled to Prince Edward Island, Premier Robert Ghiz— who, interestingly enough, is the son of the first premier I spoke to in Prince Edward Island — welcomed the idea with open arms. However, he also asked that the federal government pay for it. P.E.I had a proposal many years ago for the first Triple-E Senate in this country.  7-5

Senator Cowan: I take it that the answer is that no provincial government has indicated they are prepared to support this bill and pay the costs? No one is committed to that; is that correct?  8

Senator Brown: This bill, honourable senators, is a framework for the provinces. It is not to be copied exactly. Legislation is up to the provinces. It says in the summary of the bill that legislation enacted by a province or territory needs only to be substantially in agreement with BillS-8 to hold democratic elections. Legislation is up to the province.  9

I doubt that the Prime Minister wants to pay for those elections for the simple reason that because we expect people who run in these elections to represent a provincial political party, not a federal one, the intent is to allow the provinces to have immediate, direct input into every bill considered by the House of Commons.  9-1

Senator Cowan: That leads back to the next series of questions. As the honourable senator says, the scheme is that the elections will be provincially sponsored, run and financed, both the elections for candidates themselves and the machinery of the election, if I can refer to it that way.  

The candidates are either independents or persons who receive the endorsement of registered political parties in the provinces. Will there be any restriction on the participation of federal political parties, some of which are not represented at a provincial level in some provinces? Some parties are both federal and provincial, but will there be any restriction on the participation of federal political parties in these elections or restrictions on the role of third parties? I ask that question because, in the previous effort of the government to introduce this electoral concept, there was a lot of language about trying to control, rightly, the influence of third parties on these election contests.  10-1

I do not see any mention of that in this bill. I should like to have the honourable senator clarify whether there will be any restrictions or whether there are contemplated to be any restrictions on the role of federal political parties or other third parties in these election campaigns.  10-2

Senator Brown: Yes, honourable senators, if you read the summary, you will find that if the Prime Minister is recommending Senate nominees to the Governor General for province or territory, he would be required to consider names from the list of nominees submitted by the provincial or territorial governments. The list of nominees would be determined by an election held in accordance with provincial or territorial laws enacted to implement the framework.  11

I think it is clear that they expect the people who would be elected to represent the province. The reason for that is that this chamber has become a partisan place over a long period of time. It represents either the federal Liberals or the federal Conservatives, but it does not present the NDP or any political party of a province.  11-1

Senator Cowan: I understand that, honourable senators, but my question is this: Is there anything in the bill that indicates whether or not there will be any restrictions, controls, or parameters for the involvement of federal political parties or third parties? That is my question. It is not about whether or not this chamber is too partisan. My question is in relation to the elections that will lead to this list of nominees that will be considered by a prime minister. My question is this: Are you looking to restrict or prevent the participation or influence of federally registered parties, not provincially registered political parties, or third parties?  12

Senator Brown: I do not think there is any intent by the Prime Minister — I do not speak directly for everything he says — to have federal political parties involved in those elections.  13

Senator Cowan: You are saying that the intent of this legislation is to prevent federal political parties from participating in the election of those persons to be considered for nomination by the Prime Minister to this chamber?  14

Senator Brown: That is correct.  15

Senator Cowan: Could I ask the honourable senator to read proposed section1 of the bill? Clause 1 of the schedule states  16

      1. Senators to be appointed for a province or territory should be chosen from a list of Senate nominees submitted by the government of the province or territory.  16-1

That is similar to the summary that the honourable senator referred to a few moments ago.  16-2

One of the proposals that has been suggested by the Province of Quebec is that if the Prime Minister — and, these are not the precise words but the intent — wants to know who to appoint from the Province of Quebec, he should ask the premier of the province. The premier would then consult the National Assembly of Quebec and the National Assembly of Quebec would suggest a name or names. Would that be an acceptable solution to this government?  16-3

Senator Brown: It was acceptable in the consultations we conducted in Halifax, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver. During the Charlottetown Accord, Quebec proposed the same thing, namely, that senators be elected by the members of their National Assembly. I do not think there is any restriction that would prevent Quebec from doing that again.  17

Let me tell the honourable senator what I think would happen. Quebec did not give women the right to vote until 1940. This time, I think the populace of Quebec would want to know why they do not directly elect their senators when other provinces were doing so.  17-1

Senator Cowan: The honourable senator is quite correct that, with the proposal here, it is up to the provinces to adopt a framework similar to what is set out in the appendix to this bill. However, if that were the position of the Province of Quebec and a list were provided, would it be an acceptable solution to the democratization that he proposes?  18

Senator Brown: Yes, because I do not think there is anyone who votes in the National Assembly of Quebec that is a member of the federal government. They are members of the Quebec parties. They are Quebec MNAs. That is, they are not in the federal government; they are in the Quebec government.  19

Senator Cowan: I refer the honourable senator to proposed section37 of the appendix, Part 2, page 16. I will read it, if you would explain it. It states  20

      37. Despite any law of the province or territory that permits a voter to mark the ballot by writing the name of the candidate or the registered political party of the candidate of the voter's choice on the ballot, a voter in that province or territory may mark in writing only the name of the candidate or candidates, as the case may be, on such a ballot.  20-1

Would the honourable senator explain what that means and in what circumstances it would apply?  20-2

Senator Brown: It simply explains what I said, namely, that you can either be a representative of a provincial political party in order to vote or you can be an independent.  21

Senator Cowan: This section talks about writing the name on a ballot. Presumably, ballots are preprinted. One does not go into a ballot booth and write the name of a party or a candidate on a ballot. I have never seen that.  22

Senator Brown: I must admit that it may be something that was in the Alberta legislation, probably to accommodate the Aboriginal people that had not registered as political parties. That is the only answer I can give.  23

Senator Cowan: Would the honourable senator mind checking on that and getting back to me?  24

Senator Brown: I will.  25

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Is the Honourable Senator Brown prepared to take further questions?  26

Senator Brown: Yes.  27

Hon. Hugh Segal: Would Senator Brown be good enough to explain what appears to be quite a movement here from the previous proposal in a prior Parliament, which was for a broad referendum in which people could vote in their federal ridings at the time of a federal election to fill vacancies in their own province; versus this approach, which is focused on a province- by-province basis? If it passes and some provinces agree, you may have some provinces voting to send senators; others demurring.  28

Could the honourable senator explain that transition to colleagues in the chamber?  28-1

Senator Brown: I would be happy to explain that transition, honourable senators. In the United States, in 1903, the Americans had appointed their senators by the members of their legislative assemblies for 90 years. The State of Oregon decided that they wanted to elect their future senators, so they set up an election. That election was called unconstitutional and illegal. They went ahead and voted for two future senators. The MLAs decided to ignore that election and, for the next state election in Oregon for MLAs, every single MLA was tossed out. Then the State of Oregon held another illegal, unconstitutional election and voted for two senators. They were the first two elected senators to enter the American chamber. Eleven years later, they passed the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to give them the right to elect their senators. That was the first Triple-E Senate in America. I believe that by then, two thirds of the states had gone forward with elections, which still meant one third of them were not electing senators.  29

Hon. Sharon Carstairs: I am interested in the honourable senator's reply with respect to Manitoba because the Manitoba report is clear that it will permit Senate elections provided the federal government pays for them. In addition, Saskatchewan indicated that that is their concern also; that province wants to ensure that the federal government pays for this election.  30

The only province that I am aware of — and I seek the senator's clarification — that is prepared to pay for Senate elections is the Province of Alberta.  30-1

Senator Brown: We were in communication with both Saskatchewan and Manitoba as late as last week, and I can neither deny nor agree with the honourable senator's assessment.  31

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, my second question has to do with a change that was made with respect to the voting procedure in this bill. In past legislation, it was to be a single transferable ballot. In this bill, it is first past the post. Can you explain that change?  32

Senator Brown: In response to the honourable senator's question I suggest she look at the framework of this bill as being just that; a framework.  33

Senator Cowan has already asked whether Quebec might want to elect its senators by the members of their National Assembly. I think also that other provinces might want to use a single transferable ballot in order to elect more than one senator-in- waiting at a time.  33-1

As I said at the beginning of my speech, this act is not a command to the provinces. It is an offer to substantially meet the requirements of a democratic election.  33-2

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, if the government is prepared to make an offer to the provinces, which is what this bill purports, why would the federal government not just sit down with the provinces and talk about Senate reform?  34

Senator Brown: Honourable senators, we had an agreement in Charlottetown with every province in this country for an elected, equal and effective Senate. There were just too many other items in the Charlottetown Accord and, despite a large number of votes for one issue or another, the overall outcome was that all but two provinces voted against the accord. If the senator were to get a copy of it, she would find it is almost an inch thick and deals with just about everything under the sun.  35

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I thank Senator Brown very much for his comments. I must admit I found them most interesting and a little bit bewildering. Honourable senators, the question I wish to put to Senator Brown is in respect of the Constitution and the phenomenon of the exercise of power. As we all know, in this country the exercise of all power by the government, by the Parliament of Canada, has to be authorized by the BNA Act, the British North America Act, which is renamed the Constitution Act, 1867.  36

Could Senator Brown share with us the sections of that act that authorize the bringing of this bill to this house?  36-1

Senator Brown: Honourable senators, I believe it is the section that allows provinces to be sovereign under the parts of legislation that I have mentioned, which are manpower and immigration, education, etcetera. Provinces are allowed to hold elections in that area every time an election comes forward. This bill invites them to use that same power to decide who they want to sit in this chamber.  37

Senator Cools: Is Senator Brown referring to section92 of the Constitution Act, 1867?  38

Senator Brown: I do not disagree with the honourable senator, I am just saying that there are a great many in the media of this country who have called Senate elections illegal and unconstitutional, but no one has ever attempted a Supreme Court challenge on whether Alberta or any other province has the right to hold such elections.  39

Senator Cools: The honourable senator's view would be most interesting that something is only illegal if someone challenges it and gets a judgment from the court saying that it is illegal.  40

I would like Senator Brown to answer my question. What is the constitutional authority for the moving of this bill? I can discern nothing in section92 that gives any province or any other body for that matter, the power to elect senators.  40-1

Senator Brown: Senator Cools is probably correct. However, I served on a committee chaired by the Deputy Leader of the Government of Alberta, Jim Horsman. I sat on that committee during its first tour of Canada and, at the end of that tour, it was decided to draft legislation to hold senatorial elections.  41

We had many communications from the federal government that told us if we did anything that touched the Constitution our election would be declared ultra vires. I am sure the honourable senator knows what that means.  41-1

We did not receive a response from the government saying that there was anything in the bill that was ultra vires. That is why we have been able to hold three elections in the province of Alberta, and Alberta is deciding whether it will hold one again this fall for three senators-elect, in waiting, or whether it will be included in the provincial election next year.  41-2

Senator Cools: Honourable senators, I thank Senator Brown again. He speaks with great earnestness, which is to be respected, but I continue to be troubled at all times that these bills and these propositions never seem to be able to point to a distinct basis in any constitutional authority. Any time I ever put a question to any proponent, I never seem to be able to get an answer, which leads me to believe that there is great uncertainty, if not enormous error in it, and in point of fact there is no authority in the British North America Act for any kind of election whatsoever to the Senate.  42

Is it possible, Senator Brown, that the BNA Act does not even contemplate elections of senators? Is that possible?  42-1

Senator Brown: Honourable senators, I think Senator Cools is correct that there is no authority under the Constitution. The fact is that under the Constitution there is also no objection. If there were, the government would have come down on it a long time ago.  43

I do remember a number of times when the committee passed the legislation of Alberta through that process and no one had ever come up with a statement calling it ultra vires. That is all I can say on that question.  43-1

Senator Cools: Is it possible that the senator could only be looking at some examples of complicity in lawlessness?  44

Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, I have a couple of questions for Senator Brown.  45

When people saw that the Prime Minister broke his fixed terms elections act arbitrarily, summarily, to serve his own political ends, and certainly to deny the ``values'' that he had placed in that bill, there was grave concern.  45-1

I want to explore the extent of a prime minister's obligation under this act. I am concerned immediately when I see at clause22.(2) that there seems to be a strict requirement. I will read clause22.(2)  45-2

      If only one person is to be elected, the candidate with the highest number of votes must be declared elected.  45-3

It goes on in subclause(3) to specify the same sentiment with more people running, or needing to be elected. If you go to the first clause of the bill, on page 3, it says the following  45-4

      Senators to be appointed for a province or territory should be chosen from a list of Senate nominees submitted by the government of the province or territory.  45-5

"Should" is certainly not "must" or "shall." The first question is, what does that mean? In any event, could the Prime Minister simply disregard the act and select whoever he wants from the list of ``elected'' or from any list at all? I will give the honourable senators an example.  45-6

If the Senate were tied at 52 Liberals and 52 Conservatives, one position was available, and a Liberal came first in the election, can the honourable senator give us assurance that the Prime Minister — remember his history — would appoint the Liberal thereby giving the majority in the Senate to the Liberals?  45-7

Senator Brown: Yes, he would. I take great umbrage at the honourable senator's suggestion that the Prime Minister negated his own term limits bill. If the honourable senator would read that bill, he would find a phrase in there — I will try to quote it as closely as I can, although do not have a copy of the bill with me — that says, in effect, nothing in the above act disposes of the authority of the Governor General. That was always the out for that bill if it became necessary to hold an election for whatever reason.  46

I can tell the honourable senator there is a better chance that this Prime Minister will appoint the winner of any election in any province than any Liberal prime minister in history would.  46-1

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Does the Honourable Senator Brown wish to ask permission for more time to continue the debate? It is up to you to ask for more time—five minutes.  47

Senator Mitchell: The honourable senator is saying that the Prime Minister left himself an out, despite adamant statements to the contrary. If you read the fine print, it was there. I look at the fine print here. Is the same kind of weasel clause not right here, the first one: ``Senators to be appointed for a province or territory should be chosen...''? There is nothing determinate there at all.  48

Senator Brown: If the honourable senator listened to my speech, he would know that the second step of this process is when enough elected senators have entered this chamber, the provinces will have had eight years to decide a stand-alone constitutional amendment that does not include everything under the sun so that they can deal with just two issues.  49

One is the future representation of the Senate, and the second is the method by which to preserve the veto power of the Senate. Those are crucial, and the only governments that have a right to do that are the federal government and seven out of ten provinces representing 50percent of the population. That was in my speech, senator.  49-1

(On motion of Senator Cowan, debate adjourned.)  50

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Hon. Bert Bown
Hon. James S. Cowan
Senator Brown
Senator Cowan
Senator Brown
Senator Cowan
Senator Brown
Senator Cowan
Senator Brown
Senator Cowan
Senator Brown
Senator Cowan
Senator Brown
Senator Cowan
Senator Brown
Senator Cowan
Senator Brown
Senator Cowan
Senator Brown
Senator Cowan
Senator Brown
Senator Cowan
Senator Brown
Hon. the Acting Speaker
Senator Brown
Hon. Hugh Segal
Senator Brown
Hon. Sharon Carstairs
Senator Brown
Senator Carstairs
Senator Brown
Senator Carstairs
Senator Brown
Hon. Anne C. Cools
Senator Brown
Senator Cools
Senator Brown
Senator Cools
Senator Brown
Senator Cools
Senator Brown
Senator Cools
Hon. Grant Mitchell
Senator Brown
The Acting Speaker
Senator Mitchell
Senator Brown