When Irish eyes are smiling on the Senate

And what we should think about when we decide what to do with ours

CTV’s W5 considers the Senate and looks longingly to Ireland where the existence of their Seanad was put to a vote.

That referendum ended over the weekend with the Seanad’s life spared by 42,500 votes. Harry McGee and Damian Loscher explain why abolitionists failed. The Irish government will now consider reforming the Seanad.

CTV frets a bit about what senators do when they’re not on Parliament Hill—and maybe it’s not great that so many senators refused to discuss as much with W5—but how much does such stuff matter? When judging the existence of the Senate, does it particularly matter what speaking engagements, appearances and causes our senators commit themselves to?

I’m not sure it does. At least not as a primary consideration. If we’re to continue with the Senate, it seems to me its existence should justified on the basis of what it amounts to in terms of representation, legislation and accountability.

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