This unbalanced distribution of Senate seats -a historical artifact -is a problem for the two western provinces and an anomaly of our federation; Stephen Harper’s reform would make the situation much worse. In the existing unelected Senate, this problem is mitigated by the fact that our senators play their constitutional role with moderation, letting the elected House of Commons have the final word most of the time. But in an elected Senate, with members able to invoke as much democratic legitimacy as their House counterparts -if not more, since they would represent provinces rather than ridings -the underrepresentation of British Columbia and Alberta would take its full scope and significance.
Beyond The Commons
Aaron Wherry covers all the goings-on in and around Parliament Hill. Follow Aaron on Twitter: @aaronwherry