Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo
The 388 would still crush the 13. Still tyranny of the majority. I think a separate assembly to replace the senate with maybe one representative per indigenous nation might be a better option. This way the majority could pass no law without a majority of nations agreeing.
The issue, in my view, is not the capacity to veto decisions of the elected House of Commons. The issue, in my view, is some assurance that there will be a dedicated voice in the Lower House for Canada's First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. I do not know that it would be appropriate to abolish The Honourable the Senate
, when so many of its essential functions would not be performed comparably by a new legislature as proposed above. This is not something that I would be supportive of.
What might be a more appropriate option would be to provide the Aboriginal community, through its elected leadership, with the opportunity to provide its consent to legislation that would affect the unique interests of Canadian Aboriginal peoples. For example, consider the legislative mechanism for recommendations related to appropriations.
Any member of the House of Commons can propose a bill that calls for money to be spent, and this includes opposition parties. They could propose an entire "shadow budget" if they wanted to, and it would snake its way up the legislative process. The reason why normally only ministers' bills are passed to spend money is because, before it can be voted upon at third reading, a money bill must receive a Royal Recommendation
(from the Governor General of Canada
, on the advice of ministers). If the bill does not receive that recommendation by the time the Speaker would put the question on third reading, then the bill is ruled out of order and dropped.
We could adopt a similar mechanism for bills that are proposed by members of Parliament and that would affect the unique rights or interests of Aboriginal communities. This recommendation (whether it would come from the Governor General on address of the Assembly of First Nations, or through some other similar mechanism) would allow the bill to move forward through the legislative stages. This would likely be a much more practical option, and one which could likely be adopted with a single clause of legislation.