The Senate

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My own perception of the Senate would have to be a group of political figures who are pretty much equal with the house of commons. The Senate is an appointed body unlike the rest of the members of parliament who are elected members. To my own personal knowledge I have heard that the senate has been said to be a pointless act of political authority, also some Senators have been known not to show up to work on occasion and they get paid way to much for the crappy work they do.

The legislative powers of the Canadian Senate are consequential. There power is all on paper. The Senate can amend or reject a bill whenever they want. Between the years 1960-1999, a total of 15 bills never made it to royal assent. There three main focuses of power are delay, rejection, and amendment.

The Canadian Senate, even though constantly criticized still does perform several important roles in parliament.

The first function of the Senate is to provide some protection for provincial rights. A good example of this function is the Senate assured Quebec that they would have a set number of senators even if their population was to become low in relation with any other province. The second function of the Senate is that it always reviews all legislation that is passed in the cabinet. The Political term for this function is called providing the second sober thought. This function is performed by the Senate to refine legislation and prevent errors.

In the House of Commons senators are constantly criticizing freely without any fear of being reprimanded. The reason they can do this is the fact that they are appointed unlike the House of Commons who are elected. The third function of the Senate is that they can introduce legislation unless it is a bill that is dealing with the raising or spending of money. The forth function of the Senate is that if there is a time when the government of the day does not have enough sufficient elected representatives from a region, senators can be named to ensure that regional and/or linguistic balance is kept in the cabinet. The last function of the Senate is that they can delay the passage of constitutional amendments.

After evaluating the usefulness of the Senate I came to the conclusion that in fact it does perform several useful function. Even though the Senate settles minor issues, simple private bills and many different government matters, it still reduces a large quantity of work for the House of commons. One of the more significant role of the Senate is their frequent investigations by Senate committees. An example of this would be the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Banking, also such things as poverty, land use, and the media have been studied by special Senate committees. Senators are able to perform more extensive studies than MPs because they have more leisure time. I think the Senate can be thanked for some improvement of legislation now that I have educated myself with so much information.