Thursday, October 24, 2013

End This Nonsense with a Judicial Inquiry

The script is right out of an old-fashioned Western movie. Shaking fists in outrage the mob surrounds the three offenders and drags them out to the hanging tree. The lynch mob will have its justice.
   That’s exactly what’s been going on this week as the Canadian Senate tries to suspend without pay Senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau. They are accused of “gross negiligence” related to the filing of improper expense claims. Their suspensions would be for the remainder of the parliamentary session just started and which could last two years. Their Senate salaries are $135,000 a year each.
   Brazeau’s salary already is being clawed back to recoup $48,700 in living expenses that the Senate claimed were inappropriate. Wallin has paid back $138,900 for inappropriate expenses and Duffy was ordered to pay back inappropriate expenses which he covered with a $90,000 cheque from Nigel Wright, who resigned as Prime Minister Harper’s chief of staff when the cheque transaction became public.
   The lynching of these three Senators is the perfect argument for why the Senate should be dismantled and its prestigious Red Chamber converted into a bowling alley.
   The RCMP is investigating the Senate expenses scandal. No charges have been laid. Yet the Senate wants to convict the three before all the evidence is in. The Senate’s actions are based only on politics; a wrong-headed effort to appease a public fed up with the Senate, its waste, its do nothingness.
   The Senate, a quasi-judicial body, has decided to convict without a full investigation.
   The only way to mop up this mess now is a full judicial inquiry, after which hopefully anyone in any position in Ottawa proven to have cheated or lied in this shameful episode would get jail time. The public wants an end to all the political bullshit, and an end to the Senate.

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