View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – Canadian Senate Scandal Gong Show! October 28, 2013

gongCFN – Those aren’t the bells in the Peace Tower we are hearing; instead it’s the gong show that the Senate scandal has become. What a mess and we wonder why the public is so turned off with politics.

No one escapes the blame on this one.  Conservatives can’t even agree if suspending the three senators without due process is the correct way to go. We have Conservative senators and Conservative MPs speaking out against the pending motions- something that is generally unheard of in this tightly controlled government. Did the Government Leader in the Senate not check with his colleagues first to see if he had enough votes to get this through? Really this is amateur hour.

Why on earth would Carignan even talk a deal with Brazeau? Unless of course he was authorized to do so by PMO and even that would be questionable.

There is no doubt that the Prime Minister would be furious about questionable expenses on the part of senators, as he would be if such questions arose about a minister’s expenses. Can anyone remember that $16 glass of orange juice? He would certainly demand that everything be paid back as he has insisted in the past when minister’s stepped over the line. On that point he has never varied.  Whether or not suspending the senators over allegations and before they have been charged or convicted is the right way to go will be judged not only by the Conservative caucus in the Senate, but by the House caucus and Canadians in general? And on that note can anyone remember the last time a Senate issue became dinner table conversation- this issue has.

Let us not forget Justin Trudeau. There he is calling for the Prime Minister to testify under oath about a political issue. Exactly how of course he fails to mention, it’s just a nice sound bite for the nightly news.

The most likely way would be to have the PM appear before a committee and be sworn in.  This comes from the same Mr. Trudeau, who in the next breath wonders if the move to suspend senators would set a precedent.  Did he not think about the precedent that would be set if sitting Prime Ministers could be hauled before a committee under oath whenever the opposition parties so wished?

If one believes the polls, there is a vague possibility that Trudeau could win a minority government. Wouldn’t the Conservatives and NDP have a field day hauling him before any number of committees to testify under oath?

Speaking of having sitting Prime Ministers testify under oath at committee, wouldn’t the Conservatives have enjoyed having both Prime Minister Chretien and Paul Martin before any number of committees under oath and not just linked to the Gomery Inquiry, but also Shawinigate, the Billion Dollar Boondoggle and the list goes on. Be careful what you wish for Justin, things tend to bite former opposition leaders where it hurts after you get into power.

The only question remaining is who has the hook to end this gong show?

Keith Beardsley is a senior strategist for True North Public Affairs in Ottawa, as well as a blogger and political analyst. He can often be found running or cycling on his favorite bike trails. To sponsor this column please  email!

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  1. Thankfully the disgraced Conservative government exposes detritus of Commons and Senate.
    I now have absolute contempt for the progenitor, and am delighted to observe the shameful puppets now being exposed, later to disappear as phantoms in the nightmare.

    Betrayal of Conservative principals?
    Altering Audit rules?; Blatant cover-ups?; Treasonable fabrications forced upon the Commons, Senate and general public?; Secret PMO fund – Conservative Party coffers?; Nigel Wright’s ‘dismissal’, not a resignation?; Bribing of a Senator?; Punitive justice without due-process?; Back-room deals?;

    Will the stench reach the Supreme Court?

    Listen carefully to Pamela Wallin’s speech in the Senate.

  2. This is way more than a gong-show, and it’s going to stick to Harper. First he said Wallin’s expenses were in order, now he wants her under the bus for cheating. First he said Wright resigned, now he says he fired him. The control-freak lost control of the PMO, and now is loosing control of his caucus. Interesting times, for sure.

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