Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Kabuki, or dance of the seven veils?

The senate debacle is bad, not only for the Conservative Party but for the country. For too long this establishment has taken Canadians for granted. As appointed members of the Upper House they not only enjoy many perks but  it seems that some of them may also enjoy a different form of justice.

The case of Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau has shed a light on how  brazen these people can be in their use of public funds. It seems that the rules can be interpreted in many ways so as to extort as much as possible from  the public purse.

The rules which has sunk these three senators is about the expenses claimed, among other things,  for the use of an address used to claim their main place of residence. It appears that on top of some other expenses which have been deemed to be out of line, the main problem is that these senators claimed that their place of residence was in the constituency they represent. That is P.E.I, Quebec and Saskatchewan. But it seems that all three of them rarely spent any time in these abodes and more importantly were rarely seen to be in the residences.

The more important question is why the delay and high drama theatre being used to deal with this matter. In the private sector people who are found to have breached rules of employment are summarily dismissed. They are also allowed due process if they so wish and address their grievances in court, post dismissal. Here what is interesting is that these people get the opportunity to waste time in the senate to argue their case in front of their peers. Who in many cases may be suffering from ‘cold feet’ because they may be found to have perhaps broken some of the rules themselves.

As a result all three senators are using their membership in the senate to release information about their treatment at the hands of the PM and the Senate majority. These bits and pieces of troubling information may or may not be true. The result of the RCMP investigation is yet to be released. At this time it seems that it may well be a case of ‘he said and I said’. The somewhat daily revelations are like the ‘dance of the seven veils’. While Mr. Duffy’s performance may not be erotic it is certainly very revealing on how the system works and how entitled the performer feels.

The Prime Minister who appointed these senators finds himself in a very precarious situation, since he did not take immediate action when these troubling facts were first released. The role of the PM’s staff is even more troubling. Did they or did they not inform the PM when the $ 90,000 and legal expense fees transactions were taking place? If not what else do they not divulge to the PM? Or is it that the PM is so embarrassed by his decision to appoint three persons that I would never consider as true conservatives to the Senate.. Or is fighting an internal move by the Progressive Conservative members in his caucus to assert themselves before any change in future leadership? Because it seems to me that the reluctance to punish these alleged culprits is coming from senators from the East rather than those from the West,who express their opinion, may be not publicly, but want to deal with this issue as soon as possible.                                                                                             
 Furthermore it is clear that the public is taking a very dim look at the PM’s performance as is reflected in the latest polls, which now places him behind the two other leaders of the opposition. There are far more important issues to discuss and this is a distraction of enormous proportion that may lead to the demise of the government, which as a result may derail the economic gains that Canada has enjoyed over many of its competitors. Politics continues to be a theatre, that citizens do not want to pay for with their hard earned money.                                                                                                        
Get rid of the three senators, and let them fight it in court if they so wish, but get rid of them now. May be this incident may give rise to stopping the ‘Kabuki’ and the dance of the seven veils’ by abolishing the Senate . Canadians have had enough.

Marcel Latouche