This little book is written for Canadians who care about our democracy and the future of our planet. The Senate, surprisingly, could make major contributions to both. A People’s Senate for Canada explains how we can make that happen.
What if we had a Senate that was independent of party politics, truly committed to “sober second thought” and dedicated to the common good? What if Senate appointments focused on experience, integrity and creativity, and flowed from a non-partisan participatory process based on merit and reflective of our country’s diversity? What if senators were able to fully devote themselves to their proper legislative and investigative work, cooperating wherever possible, free of party control and electoral worries, and financially accountable to the Auditor General? As Helen Forsey demonstrates, such a People’s Senate would not require risky and questionable constitutional amendments: the needed changes could be made within the present framework. In fact, some hopeful initiatives are already under way.
A People’s Senate for Canada combines grassroots experience, thorough research and critical commentary to create a people’s resource for positive change. This book offers a rationale, an analysis and a feasible proposal for an upper house that would restore citizen participation and help check government power. It is an antidote to cynicism and a prescription for a truly honourable Senate, one that would make us proud.