Paper On Unheard Voices

3940 words - 16 pages

Saskatchewan farmers have been continually ignored in Canada's institutionallandscape. Never has the situation been more evident as it is with the possibility ofQuebec separation. The Canadian governments ignorance of farmers' needs has caused acynical view of the political process in the eyes of farmers. One of the major sources ofthe cynicism is that Canadian federal institutions are developed so that most political of theclout is developed from the east. The eastern domination of the House of Commons, andindirectly the Senate, means that Saskatchewan wheat farmers do not have a strong voicein Canadian political decisions. But what does the Saskatchewan lack of representation inCanada's political institutions in Ottawa mean? What can Saskatchewan wheat farmers doto rectify the situation? And, following a Quebec separation what can wheat farmers do touphold their livelihood? The intent of this report is to focus on the actions Saskatchewanwheat farmers can take to ensure their success in the future. A focus on the recentpolitical policy decisions by the federal government, the need for intrastate institutionalreform, and effects of a possible Quebec separation will all be analyzed.The current institutional landscape of Canada has not acted favorably forSaskatchewan wheat farmers. The development of the institutions, ie. the House ofCommons and the Senate, and the policies that have developed from these institutionshave continually ignored the needs of prairie farmers, emphasizing the cynicismSaskatchewan wheat farmers have towards the political process. The antipathy towardsthe political institutions has developed because of recent cost-cutting initiatives andderegulatory procedures by the government and by mis-representation of farmers' needs ingovernment today. The failure of Saskatchewan wheat farmers to express their needs inthe Canadian political arena successfully, when compared to other constituencies, is basedon the fact that Saskatchewan's representation in Canada's political institutions is weak.The result is the development of policies contrary to what would be accepted by farmers.Saskatchewan wheat farmers, in accordance with most constituencies in the west,have desired a institutional change to the Upper House in Canada. In 1867, when theinstitutions were developed, the goal was to develop two different political 'bodies'. One,the House of Commons, would represent the Canadian people by means of electedrepresentatives in a representation by population scenario. The second, the Senate, wouldbe a source of 'sober second thought.' In its creation the senate was intended to protectthe ideals of individual regions. However, to the chagrin of Saskatchewan wheat farmers,the intended regional focus of the senate never developed and, hence, the senate has beenan institution that has been the focus of a lot of antipathy from the West. The drive formodifications to the Senate has been pressed by Saskatchewan wheat farmers in anattempt...

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