Apparently, if Harper's Senate reform package fails he is prepared to abolish the red chamber altogether. It remains to be seen is Harper is just posturing to apply pressure, or if he would take the dramatic step, but killing this persistent eyesore seems the best route.
Am I the only one that is sick and tired of the constant fixation with the Senate? Surely I'm not alone in realizing that Harper's reforms won't end the debate, in fact they further institutionalize inequalities, screwing the West, just as its influence is growing within the federation. Harper's proposal is almost nonsensical when you think about, it's window dressing that is more problematic than ultimate solution. The idea of electing Senators, another layer of legitimate political wrangling, in a country like Canada's regionalism, it's a recipe for more acrimony.
The idea of abolishing the Senate has fairly widespread support, key provinces are on board, amending the Constitution is doable and/or a referendum appropriate. Whenever you mention the Constitution in Canada people immediately go to Defcon 5, but if any adjustment is FOREVER out of bounds, one wonders if this is really a country anyways. Provinces can operate with a single chamber, surely Ottawa can survive without the Senate.
The idea of a need for "sober second thought" seems more a theoretical argument more than real world example. From my perspective, everytime the Senate asserts itself it's immediately trashed, forced to stand down and in the end the will of the House of Commons remains. Taken in totality, the Senate rarely changes things to the extent that justifies its role. Either the opposing party controls the Senate, which leads to conflict, eventual capitulation or the governing party controls the body, which leads to rubber stamp. Even in this latest instance, Senators are reminded of their loyalities, Harper is threatening to abolish, should they resist and show the slightest measure of independent will. It's all an expensive joke, apart from romantic attachment to tradition, behind the scenes work that rarely rises to practical resonance, it's hard to justify anymore. Add on the layer of continual distraction debating the institution, and getting rid of the Senate is more and more compelling.
Unless we are prepared to reform the Senate in a profound way, which fundamentally alters our entire federal government, it will fail to operate properly, representative, responsible and respected. Given that seismic change looks virtually impossible- instead we have window dressing bandaids like the Conservative reform- the logically conclusion seems to point to outright extinction. I'd rather have no Senate than some bastardized hodgepodge that fails to address core problems. I'd prefer one chamber, rather than another body which leads to gridlock and further conflicts, anything but sober second thought. If anything, the abolish side of the argument seems to be gathering momentum, so let's take this opportunity to kill this ongoing saga once and for all. Canada has already wasted far to much energy on a body which has caused nothing but acrimony, resentments and largely disgust amongst the population. Kill it.