Sir John A. Macdonald described the Senate as a sober second thought which would serve to curb democratic excesses. Legislation in Canada generally emerges from the House of Commons, where elected officials put forth bills which are then voted on by the elected members of parliament. If the House votes in favour of a bill, it must then pass through the Senate before it becomes law.
The Senate has many of the same issues as the House of Commons, including a lack of regional representation for the West, but senators, unlike elected politicians, are not subject to party whips or party politics to the same extent as a Member of Parliament, so they can often speak more freely on legislative concerns.
As such, an Albertan senator that advocates for Western values can be an important voice in Ottawa.
Alberta is the only province that holds elections for Senate nominations.
The results of these elections are not binding on the Prime Minister, as senators are formally nominated by the Prime Minister and then confirmed by the Governor General. The upcoming Senate election on Monday will very much serve as a litmus test in determining whether Justin Trudeau will respect the Albertan nominations, or if he will disregard the will of Albertan voters and nominate a Liberal Party ally instead.
There is currently one vacancy for Alberta, but a second seat will become available this month due to a retirement.
Albertans will be able to vote for up to three nominees from an extensive list of candidates, two of whom will become senators if Justin Trudeau respects the mandate of the vote.
Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada announced three candidates for the position: Nadine Wellwood, Kelly Lorencz and Ann McCormack. All three also ran for the PPC in Alberta in the most recent federal election. We joined Nadine and Kelly for an exclusive interview to discuss the senate election and other Western issues.
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