Day 312. For Shame!

For a Canadian, I spend a fair amount of time commenting on American politics; and what I think could use some improvement. So I decided it was time I turned mythief attention, and criticism, a little closer to home. As in right here, in my own back yard.

God knows we’ve got enough crap going on in the land of the maple leaf (and the fleur de lys) to cause us all to wring our hands, hang our heads in shame and scream our bloody heads off.

Which would be a typically unCanadian reaction, by the way. We’re known as “those polite folks to the North”. You know the type. We wouldn’t say “shit” if we had a mouthful. Not me, of course. I’ve never been shy about expressing my opinion. Making my feelings known. But as a general rule, we tend to just sit there and suffer in silence. Take one for the gipper.

Not today, though.

Let’s go to Ottawa where four Senators (that we know of) have been fudging their expenses. Living high off the

hog of taxpayers. Who never get a break, as you well know.

Two of them, The Honourable (talk about a misnomer, eh) Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin, were both prominent journalists in their previous lives. Ironically it was their jobs to report scandals like this to the Canadian public. Just look at them now!

Most recently Duffy was the Ottawa editor for the CTV News Channel, after a 45-plus-year career as both a print and broadcast journalist. By the mid seventies he was covering most of the important federal stories of the Trudeau, Clark and Mulroney (prime ministers) governments. In 2008 a panel of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled that he’d violated broadcasting codes and ethics during the election.

Hmmm …

Interestingly enough, Wallin began her career as an officer at the Saskatchewan Federal Penitentiary. Clearly it didn’t teach her anything. You’d think she’d know crime doesn’t pay. That you can get caught. Guess her ego got in the way of common sense. Her journalistic career began at CBC Radio, in the news division. From there she landed a series of high profile gigs at some of the country’s major networks.

After that didn’t work out so well she started her own production company. She’s written two books, and also spent a few years as Canada’s consul general in New York. Where she very happily lived a Marie Antoinette sort of life. Only in her case, she and her guests were the ones eating all the cake. And all manner of gastronomic treats. All washed down with the finest wines our (Canadian taxpayers again) money could buy.

The other two sticky-fingered Senators are Mac Harb (former member of the House of Commons and a Senator since 2003) and Patrick Brazeau (former national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and a Senator since 2009, that is until he was expelled from the Conservative caucus when he was arrested, in 2013, for domestic and sexual assault).

Yeah. They’ve all had their hands in our cookie jar. And they all made off with our hard-earned cash, like thieves in the night. Well-dressed thieves, mind you. Traveling first class, if you please. But thieves none the less.

To add insult to injury, Nigel Wright, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former Chief of Staff, who happens to be a wealthy man in his own right, helped Mike Duffy pay back some of the money he owed, by cutting him a PERSONAL CHEQUE for $90,000. A ‘gift’ he (Duffy) apparently doesn’t have to repay. Which is why he (Wright) is now the FORMER Chief of Staff.

Now if that doesn’t stink of rotten eggs, I don’t know what does.

And lo and behold, our PM is disavowing any knowledge of the transaction. He claims he knew nothing about it.

Right. And I’ve got some swamp land to sell you.

I hope this turns out to be the investigation that refuses to go away. I hope the guilty are forced to repay each and every dime they helped themselves to. With interest. They should be Senators no more. And we shouldn’t rest until we know why Nigel Wright did what he did, what, if anything, our Prime Minister knew about it and what role he may, or may not, have played.

Thanks for listening. I feel better now. I’ve got more ranting to do, but I think you’ve heard enough for one day. You didn’t really think this was the only political nonsense we Canadians are putting up with, did you?

There’s the former Premier of Ontario who cancelled construction of two gas-fired electric power plants before an election; and then fibbed about what it would cost. A story that gets worse every day. Then there’s the ongoing saga of Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford, who’s probably gotten more air play south of the border than any other Canadian, living or dead. None of it complimentary. And then there’s Quebec. Between the corruption, the never-ending threat of sovereignty, and the sheer stupidity of the language police and menu-gate, I’d probably need a week to blog about all the ‘merde‘ going down in La Belle Province.

Brace yourselves.

13 thoughts on “Day 312. For Shame!

  1. I’m sure corruption exists in every level of government in every country in the world. I’m from Illinois, arguably the most corrupt state in the USA. We have a long list of politicians sitting in the clink, but these were just the ones unlucky enough (or stupid enough?) to get caught. The latest high-profile case was when our last governor, Rod Blagojevich (dubbed “Blago” by the media) went down for attempting to “sell” Obama’s senate seat to the highest bidder after Obama was elected president. I’m sure you remember the story. Blago was under investigation for years, but they could never nail him on anything because he was always one slippery step ahead of the investigators. Suggests the lengths he went to in order to cover his tracks. When he was finally caught, tried, and sentenced, the public worried he would find a way to buy his way out of it on some sort of lawyerly technicality. He’s serving 14 years, thank God. But it’s another black eye for Illinois politics.

    • Yes, you’re right. What is it about public office that it attracts the disingenuous? Oh yes, I do remember the Blago story.

  2. Very well written summation of the disgusting actions that we actually know about.
    Who else will surface?!
    We need to make politics an honourable profession. How do we do that?

    • I sure wish I knew the answer to that. But maybe we could start by asking tough questions of candidates and refusing to settle for bullshit answers. We could stop re-electing lying, cheating assholes who keep proving, over and over again, they are screwing us over and not delivering what they promised. When we discover that candidates business and previous political records are tarnished and tainted they should be forced to withdraw. Same when we discover they’ve previously run into legal problems for taking drugs or abusing their spouse or abusing alcohol.

      In other words, maybe we should start by raising our own standards and expectations.

  3. Pingback: Day 313. Say What???? | Three Hundred Sixty-Five

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