Indigenous Politics (IndigPoli) is a political blog that shares information and promotes Indigenous involvement in politics. This includes creating awareness of Aboriginal candidates in Federal, Provincial, local and First Nations, Métis and Inuit elections.
We also provide information and statistics on Indigenous participation in elections, when we have the data. Our focus is to encourage Indigenous people to vote, provide voting information and participate in the electoral process.
From an Indigenous perspective, First Nation, Metis and Inuit representation in the Upper House has been lacking. There are currently five Indigenous senators, with three becoming of mandatory retirement age over the next 5 years.
Senators Watt, Sibbeston, Dyck and Lovelace Nicholas are members of the Liberal Senate Forum which is separate from the House of Commons Liberal Party of Canada caucus. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau removed the Liberal Senatorsfrom the Liberal Party caucus in January 2014. Senator Patrick Brazeau is currently styled as a Independent Senator but is not a sitting member, full restoration or potential to be removed are pending legal cases.
There has been suggestions of abolishing the Senate. Respected professor and political pundit Emmet Mcfarlane suggests that abolition or certain structural changes to the Senate makeup would require constitutional change, with unanimous approval of Parliament and all 10 provincial legislatures. With Ontario, Quebec and other provinces against Senate abolition, it very unlikely that a constitutional change to the Senate would pass.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government has chosen a different path (Read) to reform the Senate. Basically, the government would set up a expert panel who would review potential appointments based on merit and contributions to Canadian. The panel would intern suggest appointments to the Prime Minister for appointment to the Senate.
The Prime Minister plans on appointing five new Senators early in the new year (2016) and fulfill all vacancies by the end of 2016. There are currently 22 vacancies and more to come, now is a good time to start thinking the many First Nation, Inuit and Metis people who could be appointed.