Senate getting tough to support


While I have always perceived the Canadian Senate as a relatively useful component of government, the current senate is making it difficult to justify its continuation. For those of you who are unaware, the Senate is to act as a “sober second thought” within the Canadian legislative process. A large percentage of Canadians however, view the senate as a redundant body, which is a drain on government resources.

Until recently, I was a firm believer in the “sober second thought” perspective, however, I find it virtually impossible to continue supporting the senate. I have never had a problem calling Conservatives incompetent, Stephen Harper’s appointments to the senate aid themselves quite well in making this case.

From the questionable appointment of Jacques Demers, an illiterate—by his own admission —hockey coach, to the current scandal amongst Conservative Senators, each of them are complete and utter fools. Senator Patrick Brazeau’s current charges of assault and sexual assault demonstrate the irresponsible nature of these senators.

The fact that anyone would commit such crimes is despicable to begin with, however, as a senator, Brazeau’s actions are even more appalling. Holding a position within the Canadian Government, Brazeau has few responsibilities; surely it is not asking much for him to not commit criminal acts. His actions reflect poorly on not only himself, but all Canadians.

Likewise, the current scandal involving Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin further suggest that Conservative senators do not deserve our trust. For those of you who are unaware, Duffy and Wallins are currently being investigated for expense claims.

The two Senators have allegedly been living in Ontario, outside of the provinces they represent—Duffy represents Prince Edward Island, Wallin represents Saskatchewan. As if sexual assault was not enough, Brazeau is also a part of  this said investigation.

While I am not so naïve as to believe that only Conservative Senators partake in this, the aforementioned cases demonstrate the rash nature of the Conservatives and Harper’s willingness to appoint anyone with a Conservative Party membership, competence be damned.

Despite branding themselves as responsible and honest, it is clear that they are actually the opposite. This leads me to the discussion of senate reform. With such appointments to the senate as Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin, one cannot help but question if such incompetent individuals could possibly offer anything to the political system.

The senate costs Canadians about $100 million every year. At this cost, I question how we can justify employing 105 Canadians in this capacity. Senators are generally washed up political allies who have simply been put out to pasture; after serving their purpose for the party, they receive a senate seat as a reward.

Personally, I do not feel the need to have my tax dollars spent on Harper’s cronies and having to pay the salary of Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin only adds insult to injury.

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