Thursday, November 7, 2013

Senate a corrupt mess long before Harper

Some people are claiming the senate was this wonderful institution of “second sober thought” before Harper came along. Pure hogwash.

Let’s not forget one of the four corrupt senators caught with his hand in the cookie jar was Liberal Mac Harb. He was appointed to the senate by Chretien for working on his campaign. Harb kept a 0.01% stake in a house he never lived in to fraudulently claim housing expenses. Like all disgraced senators, he resigned before being forced out so he could collect his lucrative senate pension.

Fact is, prime ministers have been shamelessly stacking the senate with their partisan friends for a long time.

Senate appointments by PM

Prime minister Appointments Partisan % Partisan
Stephen Harper 59 59 100%
Paul Martin 17 12 71%
Jean Chrétien 75 72 96%
Brian Mulroney 57 55 96%
John Turner 3 3 100%
Joe Clark 11 11 100%
Pierre Trudeau 81 70 86%
Lester B. Pearson 39 38 97%
John Diefenbaker 37 36 97%

Loosing my religion...

The senate debate is one where all rational thought flies right out the window.

I find that belief in the senate is the same as belief in religion. People abide by it purely out of an obligation to tradition. The last thing they want to hear is that what they believe in is absurd. But it is.

Rest of developed world

Canada is the only developed country that has appointed senators. Other countries that still have senates elect their senators. Most would be shocked to discover the morally-bankrupt appointment process we have in place.

In an democracy, the concept of appointed politician is an oxymoron. The purpose of politicians is to represent voters who put them in power. Then they are held accountable at the ballot box come next election.

Canadian senators have none of these qualities. They are not beholden to Canadians. They are manipulated by their party leaders from the House of Commons.

Liberals just as corrupt

When Justin Trudeau voted for mandatory minimum sentences for growing a few marijuana plants in 2009, he was probably assured he’d have nothing to worry about. Liberal senators ended up gutting the bill. (Which is why it wasn’t passed until 2011.)

Mulroney received fierce opposition from a Liberal senate against the Free Trade Agreement. Liberal senators, controlled by John Turner, blocked his efforts. He ended up calling the “free trade election” to decide the issue in 1988. Today, Liberals proudly proclaim they are the “party of free trade.”

Conclusion

The senate is an intolerable mess and has been for decades. We must either elect senators like other democratic countries. Or just get rid of it.

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