At some point some academically inclined chronicler of Canada's Parliament is going to sift through records of decades past to discover how many prominent Canadian senators, notionally representing distant provinces, were in fact permanently resident in Ottawa.
That person will discover that this resident/non-resident business was never an issue until, quite recently, it became an issue.
The "ordinarily resident" business harkens back to an era past when senators were required in Ottawa for a modest number of days each year and then, when they awoke in their club chairs, would board a train and head for home. If they stuck to the actual business of the Senate they could probably still do that. However they've become political mules for the elected side of their parties.
Although the Senate has no elections, senators are expected to get involved in electioneering. They're supposed to make the rounds, shake hands, be seen with candidates. They're also expected to get involved in fundraising, as much of that as possible. Duffy, it was said (albeit it was said by me) was worth his considerable weight in campaign donations.
So, when you add the days the Senate is actually sitting and they're required to be in Ottawa to the days they're slogging around the country, end to end, fundraising and electioneering for their parties, there's no way in hell some of them can be ordinarily resident in a province except Ontario or Quebec.
Now, Shifty Steve could have addressed this issue openly and honestly when it became an issue. He could have explained the facts and called for amendment of the outdated legislation. The public would have understood. The Liberals couldn't complain for they had plenty of this in their turn.
But it's not in Shifty's nature to be open and honest, certainly not with Parliament much less the Canadian people. He's instinctively a lying bastard with no illusions about his ability to persuade the public with honesty. The convoluted Duffy-Wright scheme demonstrates exactly that. Shifty Steve would rather lie and manipulate than come clean with the public. It's his way and he's shown us that, over and again, for years.
Does that mean we should forget about the Wright-Duffy-Harper scandal? No, not at all. You play the cards you're dealt. You live with the laws in effect at the time, especially those laws that are the only defence we have against corruption of our parliamentarians. This is about an under-the-table scheme to pass money to a senator in connection with that senator's official status. It is about a gift of money that came with threats and inducements - carrots and sticks. It is about a very seriously illegal and corrupting transaction undertaken within the prime minister's own inner sanctum and, we're told, at his personal direction.
We can't condone this sort of law-breaking any more than we should tolerate a scofflaw prime minister.
Before I forget, one other thing. Just because Shifty Steve Harper has so wantonly corrupted the Senate of Canada offers no justification whatsoever for abolishing the Senate. He has, after all, corrupted the House of Commons even more thoroughly and no one is calling to abolish that.