One aspect of the insidious nature of the Senate is its consistent ability to survive when nobody likes it much.
It’s a lot like William Lyon Mackenzie King in that regard. Like the Senate, no one ever knew what King was up to. For years at a time he didn’t seem to accomplish much. He was just always there, and when it came election time he had the ability to get re-elected. Voters probably didn’t even know why they were voting for him, it just seemed inevitable that he should still be prime minister.
Same with the Senate. The last known Senate enthusiast was spotted hiking through the Sheep River gorge in Alberta in the early 1950s and hasn’t been heard from since. He’s either dead, or still amused that the Senate can’t be gotten rid of without a constitutional change that is impossible without gagging the provinces and locking them in a closet.
The NDP is discovering this. John Ivison explores the possibility of an NDP government that finds itself without a single member in the Senate. How do you pass legislation when all 105 senators aren’t members of your party? The NDP got itself into this position by 1. Never being in power, and 2. Disdaining membership in the Senate anyway, probably beacause it expected #1 would always be true.