Policy Options: Senate rules must be updated

Senate Renewal

Policy Options: Senate rules must be updated

With more than 80 per cent of sitting senators not linked to a political party in the Commons, changes must be made to reflect that it’s a more independent institution, writes Senator Marc Gold in Policy Options.

Six more independent senators have taken their seats in the Red Chamber so far in 2024, ready to provide sober second thought on behalf of their regions without the pressure of following the top-down party directives associated with being part of a partisan caucus.

In the past decade, there has been a gradual yet dramatic transition away from the government-opposition duopoly that had characterized the Senate for nearly 150 years.

However, the current Rules of the Senate do not reflect the new reality, in which 80 out of 96 sitting senators are not affiliated with either the government or the opposition.

The rules continue to lag when it comes to the equitable treatment of these recognized groups. They need to be updated in several areas along the lines of a comprehensive package of proposed changes currently being considered in the Senate.

Read the full piece, published April 25, 2024, in Policy Options.

Policy Options: Senate rules must be updated