In the House of Commons foyer today, Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, said:
“The Senate must be non-partisan, composed of merely of thoughtful individuals, representing the very values, perspectives and identities of this great country, independent from any particular political brand.”
He said this as he was announcing that the 32 senators who had been part of his national Liberal caucus were getting booted and should now consider themselves independent senators.
The first thing those newly independent senators did was confirm their old leadership, electing Senator James Cowan as leader, Senator Joan Fraser as deputy leader and Senator Jim Munson as whip. Given that a whip’s function in our democracy is, largely, to make sure party members follow the party line, why would a group of independent non-partisan senators need a whip?