Sunday Morning Thoughts

The deadline for the Ontario Arts Council works-in-progress awards is June 17th. My prose selection is finished, read by knowledgable people— an art director and a writer, both of whom gave generously  of their time and expertise— and the final polishing done. The application allows for up to two pages of supplemental material, synopses, table of contents and so forth, if I choose to include it. I don’t. I doubt a synopsis of an unfinished novel, even one that is complete in first draft would help my case. No, the work must stand on its own.

Now, I’m not the best form-filler in the world. There is something about all those little squares. If the instructions say “mark with an X”, I’m sure to use a checkmark. Indeed, I have to remind myself of that every time I vote.

Even my own address can bring on a sudden episode of panic—what did I print? It may be an old address from Toronto, or the first one here in Lindsay, but not the one the computer—it does know where I live—wants.

“Ah, poor soul,” I hear you say. “Her age is starting to show.” Not at all. I’ve always been this way. I have trouble staying within the signature box on the passport application.

I think it must be some subliminal resistance to the rule-makers.

Speaking of the rule-makers, the ones in Ottawa seem to be in a spot of trouble. Apparently the holier-than-thou Tories aren’t so. According to Margaret Wente in the Globe on Saturday, that’s just how it’s done in the Senate—perks, thousands of dollars of them, all round. http://tinyurl.com/m7pgjsb

I’ve always thought we needed the two houses in Parliament, hoping the Senate would be the source of sober second looks at legislation. I wasn’t all that bothered by the appointed rather than elected basis either, until recently. I do think that, whatever way we decide to choose them, the senators must be more accountable for their actions, their decisions and their budgets. If that means elected, so be it, but let’s look at countries other than the USA as a model. However much our PM admires their system, it’s in worse gridlock than Toronto’s roads.

Australia has a bicameral system. The upper house comprises 76 senators, elected for 6 year terms, 2 from each state and territory. The senators are elected under a proportional representation form of voting.

According to Wikipedia: Unlike most upper houses in parliamentary systems, the Senate is vested with significant power, including the capacity to block legislation initiated by the government in the House of Representatives, making it a distinctive hybrid of British Westminster bicameralism and US-style bicameralism.

New Zealand has a unicameral system. it abolished its Senate in 1950.

What we do need to do is make sure the “hands-in-the-cookie-jar” sense of entitlement goes.

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