Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Calgary West for that most interesting question.
I agree the Senate is not accountable to taxpayers. There is absolutely no question about that whatsoever. Is it accountable to the House of Commons? The senators have sent a message through the chair of the internal economy board of the other place that that individual would not appear before a standing committee of the House of Commons to explain the Senate budget, to in some way answer some very rudimentary questions about the budget tabled in the other place.
Are they accountable to the Prime Minister? I think the answer is no but we could argue about that. If we go back in time and look at the list of appointments, there are people who were appointed in the seventies. I do not know if there are any left from the sixties but certainly there are some from the seventies, the eighties and into the early nineties. Of course they were accountable to other prime ministers but they have come and gone.
The open ended question is are we going to put up with a body that is unaccountable and that continues to demand relatively large sums of money for rather obtuse purposes? I think my position on it is well known.