© Canadian Press photo
James Cowan, flanked by other newly declared Independent Senators, including P.E.I. senators Catherine Callbeck and Libby Hubley, speaks to reporters on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday. The senators were reacting to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's announcement to remove senators from the caucus.
Editor: Putting aside the question of its effectiveness, the decision by Justin Trudeau to exclude Liberal senators from the party’s caucus meetings provided an interesting illustration of the Liberal Party’s “democracy” at work. Party members didn’t make this decision, nor were they consulted on it. In fact, Senators and MPs weren’t even in the loop. Emperor Justinian apparently decided this all on his own (or with advice from a few “esters”).
And who decided the Liberal Party would now support appointing senators through a process similar to the selection process for the Order of Canada? What if some Liberals favour an elected Senate — or, heaven forbid, abolishment of the Senate? In a party that supposedly supports “democracy,” shouldn’t party members be given a chance to debate the merits of each option and then determine the party’s position in a democratic fashion?
Even those Liberals who agree with Trudeau’s position must admit that the decision-making process employed was both undemocratic and disrespectful of party members.