NDP Leader Jack Layton has won the backing of the prime minister to hold a nation-wide referendum on the abolition of the unelected Senate, CTV News has learned.
Insiders say Stephen Harper is prepared to support an NDP motion that would call for a national referendum on Senate abolition at the time of the next general election that is set for October 2009.
Sources also say Layton and Harper have held private discussions about Layton's proposal in recent days.
Tory insiders say the prime minister will have the Conservatives vote for the NDP motion that could be tabled in the Commons as early as next Tuesday.
The NDP referendum plan is similar to an idea floated by Conservative Senator Hugh Segal.
Harper has put his own reform proposals that call for electing senators but that has been blocked by the Liberal-dominated Senate.
Harper has also put legislation before Parliament that would set eight year terms for senators. Source...