Unlike America, Canada has an Upper Chamber free of electoral political b.s. to complement its totally-elected and dominant Lower Chamber. How one gets there may grate on (small-R) republicans – the Prime Minister advises the Governor General to summon them by name on behalf of the Queen – but once there, they’re beholden to nobody, have proven themselves so, and provide the “sober second thought” so lacking Below the 49th Parallel. Now Bush-clone Stephen Harper wants Provincial advisory elections for Senatorial appointments, which he knows will become actual elections in all but name, without putting the country through the sturm und drang of amending the constitution again. Combined with his Senatorial term-limits – 8 years instead of serving till age 75 (or earlier voluntary retirement) – and what will be required next will be Chamber equality, so just like Australia, a government will effectively need the confidence of both Houses, and modern Westminster Parliamentary Democracy is out the window.
(Personally I’ve come around to the logic of a largely hereditary Upper Chamber, i.e., the pre-Blair UK House of Lords – lifelong preparation, no electoral political b.s. [complemented by the totally-elected and dominant House of Commons], “sober second thought,” even – on a good day – a slow Red Tory/One Nation brake on modern ideological politics in the Commons. But I don’t see anybody adopting a House of Lords de novo without an actual conquest or something, especially in [small-R] republican America or republican-influenced Canada or Australia…so let’s make do.)