Our ethically vacuous prime minister, Stephen Harper, has perverted the Senate of Canada in endless ways. He has stacked it with Conservatives, never once reaching across party lines in his appointments, an anti-democratic first for Canada. Far from selecting senators based on their record of achievement and service, he picked really mediocre types obviously chosen for obedience. As Harper's handmaidens achieved a majority in the Senate, their Master succeeded in transforming the institution into yet another of his personal partisan agencies. Any doubt was erased from what we learned of the Wright-Duffy affair.
|Harper's Trained Seals|
RCMP investigators determined that Duffy was not in Prince Edward Island enough days to be deemed resident in that province. Close but no cigar. Duffy's camp contend he was unable to meet the residency test for PEI because the Conservative PMO had him on the road from coast to coast, constantly fundraising and campaigning. Not fundraising for the Senate. Not campaigning for the Senate. No, he was fundraising and campaigning for his prime minister and his caucus in the Commons.
Duffy felt entitled to his housing allowance given the number of days he spent annually resident in Prince Edward Island plus the days he spent "on the road" for Harper's Conservative caucus. That's why he dug in his heels when Harper ordered him to repay the housing stipend. That's why Nigel Wright decided to give Duffy $90-thousand under the table.
It was in both Harper's interests and Duffy's that the PMO interceded with the Conservative Senate leadership to get the audit report into Duffy laundered. Orders went out from the PMO to the hopelessly compromised senior Conservative senators - LeBreton, Stewart-Olsen, Tkachuk and others. The corruption was complete.
Recall how this all fell apart. Harper was onside with it. Duffy was onside with it. Nigel Wright, Benjamin Perrin and other PMO functionaries were onside with it. The Conservative Senate leadership were onside with it. They were all onside with it - until an e-mail Duffy foolishly distributed to his friends detailing the arrangement fell into the wrong hands and was then leaked to CTV News. Only then did it all fall apart. Only then did Harper, Harper's PMO and the exposed Conservative Senate leadership turn on Mike Duffy and, when they did, they did it with a vengeance.
That demonstrates why young Trudeau is right. Senators must not owe their duty to their party's leadership in the Commons. They must serve the country and the Canadian people. They can't do that and serve a master in the Commons. One has to go.