All this news about Prime Minister Harper's Senate appointments has once again triggered talk as to how we can reform the Upper House.
And one idea which keeps popping up is that Senators should be elected.
But alas it seems there are too many political and constitutional obstacles to making the Senate more democratic.
Does this mean we should give up?
Of course not. It just means we need to be more imaginative.
Luckily I have a wonderful imagination and after giving the idea serious thought for about five seconds, I have come up with a great way to reform the Senate: What if the Prime Minister selected Senators by pulling names of Canadians at random out of a hat?
Every Canadian eligible to vote would be a potential candidate. (Admittedly this will require one very large hat.)
Not only would this end the odious practice of making patronage appointments, but it would provide the basis for a great new reality TV show: "Canada's Next Senator".
Imagine the excitement as names were selected on national television; every citizen would be glued to their set wondering if they will win the Senate appointment, meaning they would get a "job" for life and a wonderful salary and tons of perks.
Now you're probably saying to yourself: "Gerry you are admittedly a top political mind, but won't your idea mean unqualified people could enter the Senate?"
To which I reply, the only qualification needed to be a Senator is that you can efficiently and effectively do nothing.
My dog is qualified to be a Senator.
Besides there's a precedent. The ancient Greeks chose political leaders by lot, and they invented democracy, right before they invented the gyro.
And by the way, this proposal of mine has nothing to do with any disappointment on my part that I wasn't named to the Senate -- even though let's be honest, I would have made an excellent Senator.