Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Senate salvageable

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Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks to reporters Wednesday after announcing  he is removing senators from caucus.

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Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks to reporters Wednesday after announcing he is removing senators from caucus.

I applaud Justin Trudeau for his leadership in acting on Senate reform (Just political gimmickry? Doesn't matter right now, Jan. 30). All political parties should follow suit. And while Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair was correct in proposing this action, he is wrong in proposing abolition of the Senate.

The Senate's purpose at the time of Confederation -- to provide sober second thought -- remains valid today, and would be best served if all Senators were independent of political party caucus affiliation. With the end of participation in, and discipline by, party caucuses, independent senators will be free to exercise independent thought and judgment in the best interest of their regions and the nation. The Senate will be able to run its own affairs without being controlled from the House of Commons by the Prime Minister's Office.

Senators could voluntarily participate in Senate regional caucuses to aid them in their fundamental roles. As a fully independent upper chamber -- and with the addition of some excellent appointees -- the Senate would have the potential to become one of the world's greatest deliberative bodies. As educated and informed citizens of one of the world's oldest federal democracies, Canadians deserve no less.

JOHN PERRIN

Winnipeg

 

When the Manitoba Free Press became the Winnipeg Free Press, was that change transforming or trivial?

Asserting provincial concerns were now chiefly unicity-centric was in tune with the developing political reality of the time that ultimately forced the province to defend itself against redundancy by introducing the PST.

By allowing Senators to use their political instincts -- liberal or otherwise -- for the benefit of Canada and all Canadians, Justin Trudeau's reform declares the trend the Free Press still endorses, with the qualifier Winnipeg, defunct. His reform is in tune with the developing political reality of our time.

SCOTT INSCH

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 31, 2014 A8

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