This is from the CBC. While personally I do not see the need of a Senate at all and think it should be abolished at least an elected Senate is preferable to the status quo in which it is an old folks home for party hacks. The Liberal senator's comment is risible. Apparently these provisions are meant to mesh with any Federal inititiatives.
Saskatchewan prepares to elect senators
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 11:56 AM CT Comments35Recommend16CBC News
Saskatchewan is poised to become the second province, after Alberta, to start holding elections for federal senators.
The Saskatchewan Party government has drafted legislation to make elections for Saskatchewan's senators possible and will likely introduce it in the fall, Justice Minister Don Morgan said earlier this week.
"If we can assist in the transition to an elected Senate, I think we're going a long way in the name of democracy," he said.
The Saskatchewan Party plans to have an election to replace Senator Len Gustafson, one of six from Saskatchewan, who's expected to retire soon upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.
"Most of the people in our caucus are pro-Senate-reform, and we felt this was a worthwhile initiative to look at," Morgan said.
The move follows last year's appointment of Albertan Bert Brown to the senate —10 years after people in that province voted him in.
Senators are appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister.
The Liberal government didn't move to appoint Brown, but the Conservatives under Prime Minister Stephen Harper did.
However, there are many who believe Senate elections are a bad idea. Liberal Senator Pana Merchant says elections will politicize an institution that's supposed to be above that.
"The Senate now is a house of conversation, of serious second look at legislation that comes to us unencumbered by political restraints," she said. "Not quite as political, I would say, as the House of Commons."
The Saskatchewan NDP's Kevin Yates said his party wants a so-called Triple-E Senate — one that's elected, equal for all the provinces and effective.
However, getting rid of the Senate altogether is another option, Yates said.
"If we're not going to have Senate reform that's meaningful, then it doesn't play a key role in public policy in Canada, and therefore it probably should be abolished," he said.