The Supreme Court has unanimously shot down Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s plans to reform or abolish the senate and in response Harper has dropped the ball. The man who promised an elected senate since as far back as 2006 is now saying there’s nothing he can do and is closing the door.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau turned the Senate and pundits on their heads this week following his announcement that Liberal Senators would cease to sit in the Liberal caucus in a bid to remove patronage and partisanship from the scandal-plagued Upper Chamber.
Who said Canadian politics is boring? This year has been a news-maker filled with controversy and action. From the battle that wages over the economy to the one being waged in the senate, Canadian political junkies had ample opportunities to gather popcorn or join the discussion over the issues that matter to them.
Recent events have trumped Conservative tough on crime rhetoric. From the Duffy Affair to Rob Ford’s drug problems, the Conservatives have been slow to realize these events are their time to shine, not fail as miserably as they have.
The senate voted to suspend senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, and Patrick Brazeau without pay yesterday, an unprecedented move that has trumped due process in an attempt to silence a year-long scandal.
As Canadians look for answers in the ongoing senate saga, Harper’s statements and lack of statements have raised more questions than answers. One minute, the scandal is isolated to his former chief of staff Nigel Wright, the next, “very few people” knew. One minute, he was saddened to see Wright resign, now Wright was “dismissed.” In 2005, the Prime Minister was responsible for the actions of his staff, today, there is no correlation. In 2005, withholding information was enough reason to hold a political leader to the fire, today, it is the norm. It appears contradictions are dominating Harper’s dialogue and actions, should he be held by his 2005 standards today?
Within six days of Duffy’s bombshell allegation implicating Harper in the Duffy affair, Duffy released documents today which implicate Conservative Party lawyer Arthur Hamilton in a second cheque.
There is no going back on The Duffy Affair, the breach of trust and scar to the Conservative brand will last a while. The story is on people’s minds and despite an aggressive effort to get it off the agenda, the fall session of Parliament is picking up where the spring session left off – in an interrogation room setting with an opposition playing whack a mole with a defiant prime minister.
The Duffy Affair exploded with controversy Tuesday when disgraced senator Mike Duffy implicated Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the scandal in a speech to the senate to save his job. The speech has led a domino effect exposing over a dozen Conservative insiders who knew of the affair – despite Harper’s claims that former Chief of Staff Nigel Wright acted alone.
The Conservatives have desperately tried to dodge the scandals floating in the senate but as time progresses, the situation appears to be getting worse. The Duffy Affair already has some explosive new leads: one of the senators who became known for whitewashing an independent audit is also wrapped into scandal, a mysterious binder belonging to Harper’s former Chief of Staff reveals Duffy’s calendar, Duffy contracted $65,000 for “little or no apparent work.”