Honourable Senators Well, maybe not so much
So, how do you like the Senate now?
And just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse.
Every time I see a new revelation or an attempt at rationalization by a Senator who is doing his or her very best to convince us he or she did nothing wrong, and that the real problem is that Auditor General Michael Ferguson simply doesn’t understand how important they are and what they do, and how the Senate operates, I can’t help but think of this guy
Ah yes, David “I’m entitled to my entitlements” Dingwall. Can’t help but notice how the Senate response has the David Dingwall attitude written all over it.
And I think most of us would disagree with the Senators and agree that the Auditor General understands only too well how the Senate operates.
From a communications perspective, it’s an interesting thing to watch. This is damage control in slow motion, which is always the very worse kind. I can’t imagine the thinking behind holding the report back from the public for several days after it was presented. It was very unlikely information from it wouldn’t leak. Which of course is exactly what happened, guaranteeing lots of extra coverage and stories before the report was released to the public.
But that aside, what has been stripped bare for all of Canada to see is an Upper Chamber of characters who feel entitled. The attitude seems to be one of "what the hell, why spend our own money when we can spent taxpayer money, and there’s lots more where that came from".
This space isn’t long enough to list off the litany of abuses, from putting the most personal of expenses on the taxpayer tab to playing fast and loose with residency rules.
We were outraged when we heard of Mike Duffy claiming that his seldom visited cottage in PEI was his residence, and now we find that that appears to be not so much the exception as the rule, or at least, a loophole several other senators didn’t mind exploiting.
The remarkable thing is that we heard outrage from within the Senate. The very people who were throwing Mike Duffy under the bus, as it turns out, perhaps should be joining him there.
As I followed the Mike Duffy trial, before all this other stuff surfaced, it struck me that his defense, that there were few rules in place regarding spending and the ones that were there weren’t enforced, spoke to the legality of the issue, but totally ignored the ethics or morals involved. I get that, lawyers and courtrooms are about what’s legal, not what’s right.
So I concluded that Duffy was simply a man who lacked moral character.
What I find incredibly sad is that he was far from alone in that. What this whole sorry mess has proven beyond any doubt is that some/many/most? Senators are not capable of doing the right thing minus ironclad rules.
Honourable Senators? At the risk of tarring all with the same brush, not so much.
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