My guess is that the most significant democratic reform we will see under this Conservative majority is a change in the seat allocation formula for the House. Perhaps the government will prove me wrong by moving forward on Senate reform or other issues, but I doubt it. Beyond the fact that it is now in the Conservatives’ interest to keep the Senate as is and to stick with first-past-the-post, there’s also the fact that reformers don’t agree on what the final product should look like. As often in these situations, the status quo prevails.
Take Senate reform, for example. You’d have to decide on at least the following issues:
1. The form of the Senate:
2. If you answered a or b to Q1, the seat allocation principle:
a) None (PM appoints from anywhere, or pure nationwide proportional voting)
b) By province
c) By region, as is
d) By region, some other way
3. If you answered b to Q1, the voting method:
a) Nationwide proportional
b) Proportional by province/region/large constituency
c) First past the post
d) Something else
And of course, your answer on these might depend on what we do with the voting system for the House. I’m pretty sure that no single combination of answers to just these three questions would be picked by a majority of Canadians, and my guess is that none would come even close.
My question to you: if you could change the way in which we choose are MPs and Senators to your liking, what would you do? (My preferred solution involves abolishing the Senate and moving to a sort of MMP system, modified to make majorities easier to achieve.)