Monday, August 12, 2013

On The Ongoing Senate Scandal

As the summer wears on, more keeps dribbling out about the misdeeds of various Senators.  Whether we are talking about Wallin, Duffy or Brazeau the outrage that we direct towards these senators for their individual misdeeds should be directed in equal measure towards the man currently residing at 24 Sussex Dr. in Ottawa - Stephen Harper.

Remember, the key figures in this scandal were all appointed by Harper, and two of them served key roles during the 2011 election campaign - a period when it is suspected that Duffy was billing the Senate for the bulk of the travel expenses that could rightly be considered campaigning, and I have little doubt that Ms. Wallin's expenses are equally suspect during that same timeframe.

There is little doubt that Wallin and Duffy were appointed to the Senate by Harper because of their "star power" as part of the party fundraising apparatus.

The 2011 election is among the most controversial to ever take place in Canada.  Not only do we have an election where voters were deliberately misdirected away from the correct polling stations by "robocalls" which are widely understood to have been driven by data from the CPC's own voter information database, but now we are learning that Canadian taxpayers were effectively bankrolling CPC campaigning and fundraising efforts during the campaign through CPC Senators charging campaign related travel back to the Senate (presumably for "meeting with the community" over dinner or some other nonsense to justify the "Senate Business" aspect of their trip).  There have also been a number of CPC candidates whose campaign finances have been deemed suspicious - at least one a former cabinet minister who has since resigned and lost a byelection bid to regain his seat.

In short, the 2011 election gave Stephen Harper a majority not because he had the better platform, but because he lied, cheated and ultimately stole victory - and democracy - from Canadians.

My point?  Mr. Harper has fostered a culture of deception and entitlement within his party.  His "power at any cost" approach to things has created fertile ground for avarice and greed to become the dominant forces in his party.  Is there any surprise that we are finding CPC Senators with their snouts firmly in the public trough?  Mr. Harper is plainly responsible, and Canadians should rightly be absolutely furious with him for duplicity, dishonesty as well as picking our pockets.

While Senate Reform is a laudable objective to pursue, it cannot be credibly pursued by Stephen Harper - a man who has so clearly abused the trust of Canadians to such an extent.

Remember this next time you stand in a polling both with a pencil in hand and a ballot before you.

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