What is the Senate?
Like an up-down duplex, Canada’s parliament has two “rentals”. We the people are the landlords (electors) of the House of Commons AKA the basement suite. The Senate, where Jett wants to live, is known as the (chin) Upper House yet the only way to get there is to be appointed by the renter-in-chief from the basement. If that isn’t weird enough you have to share the place with 105 other Senate members from all over the country. There are rockers, those who hate rock and some who rock but only on weekends:
- Ten rockers each for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
- Four rockers for Prince Edward Island
- Six rockers for Newfoundland and Labrador
- Twenty-four rockers each for Quebec and Ontario
- Six rockers each for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
- One rocker each for Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut
Too many words about rockin’? Check out the calmly narrated video, but don’t spend too much time staring at the artistic expressions!
Check out Jett’s Guide to the Senate
Did you know?
The role of the Senate is to act as an independent and complementary body of “sober second thought”, regional representation and minority representation. Sober second thought. That’s the best! It is like Canada needs an answer for “drunken first thoughts”! Also, Senators stopped wearing togas to work many years ago. Read more here.
Senate election? But Jett, aren’t Senators appointed?
Great question. These days, an independent advisory board recommends possible Senate rockers (who a bunch of the rocker’s friends thoughtfully suggested) to the Prime Minister to recommend the Governor General to appoint to the Senate. Did you think sober second thoughts weren’t going to be easy?
Always wanting to walk a different line, the wise, conservative, “kinda-don’t-rock-a-lot” Alberta government decided we could elect people to be recommended for recommendation for appointment. Now that sounds like a drunken first thought! Anyway, dutiful Elections Alberta is running a Senate election as part of October’s municipal elections. There are two Senate seats open (for recommendation to be recommended for appointment) and Jett is hoping to score one of these available “senator-in-waiting” seats.
The Order in Council and Writ of Election for the 2021 Alberta Senate Election was issued on June 23, 2021, to hold an election to select 3 Senate nominees who may be summoned to the Senate of Canada, to fill a vacancy or vacancies relating to Alberta. The Senate Election will take place on October 18, 2021, in conjunction with the 2021 Alberta Municipal Elections.
This means Jett needs a resume that stands out. If appointed, Mr. Thunders can look forward to years of reading the laws of the land and expertly grilling experts on government policy. Then after a light snack from the parliamentary cafeteria, he will help lawyers to word “turn down the suck” into proper legalese so it won’t get stomped on by the Supreme Court, providing the renters in the basement, AKA House of Commons, agree with Senator Thunders’ second thought.
Jett knows that winning a popularity contest in Alberta would make him stand out from the rest. This is unlike former senator Mike Duffy who, as a CTV reporter, made himself stand out to then-prime minister Stephen Harper by misrepresenting how Canadian parliamentary democracy functions, then misrepresented where he lived and how he spent money during his time in the Senate. Think that is bad? Don’t get Jett started about Lynn Beyak or Andy Thompson (aka “that Canadian Senator who lived in Mexico”).
What is the deal with this election then?
Once upon a time, Senate reform was a big deal for alienated Westerners. Think pipelines, except way less carbon dioxide. Albertans were given the privilege of electing Senators-in-waiting (SIWs) between 1989 and 2012. The SIWs were then ignored by federal Liberal governments (led by guys from Ontario and Quebec) and dutifully appointed by Conservative governments (led by a guy from Alberta). The idea of electing Albertans to the Senate resurfaced in 2019 when that guy from Alberta’s best buddy’s government passed Bill 13 (don’t touch that number). Once again Senate nominee elections will give the appointment board up to three names (Vote Jett Thunders!) to consider recommending to the Prime Minister who will pass the note along to the Governor General (wink, wink).
Jett Thunders has had to learn some tough stuff getting prepared for this election. Not everyone has fair, equal and simple access to this year’s Senate elections. Indigenous people won’t be able to vote on Reserves in the upcoming plebiscites and senate elections. While they are affected by the election and referendums, they aren’t municipalities (being First Nations and all) and so aren’t having municipal elections on October 18. Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister, Ric McIver, didn’t bother to write a letter about this either. Learn more about this blunder here.
Click this link to more information on how residents of First Nations, Summer Villages, Improvement Districts, and Special Areas can vote by special ballot.
Did you know?
Premier Kenney loves democracy, but not as much as Jett does. Jason Kenney has said that Senate elections are “not some kind of political symbol” but “is an effort to revive democracy in the heart of our Parliament.” Whatever dude!