Once a student of political science, I was generally pretty impressed with the way our government was set up — at least in theory.
You have your representative house of elected folks. You have your second house of non-elected folks, who don’t have to worry about pleasing voters, to keep an eye on the elected folks. Then, for good measure, you have your representative of the head of state, the governor general.
When I got a bit less starry eyed about the whole democracy thing, I realized that the GG , from a keeping Canada intact standpoint, was pretty useless. It’s a nice figurehead, but a GG would really have to step out of his or her zone to make any political difference in this country.
Oh well, I thought. At least we still have senators to keep an eye on those MPs. Good thing they’re not elected, or everyone running this country would be luring the populace with promises.
Lately, though, I’ve been a little annoyed with some of those senators, who clearly feel the world owes them a living.
Patrick Brazeau would be the No. 1 annoyance. He has been charged with assault and sexual assault. This is the sort of person we want in the red chamber?
At least the Senate has booted him for the time being, but he’s still making his 130 grand.
Granted, one is innocent until proven guilty, and we must wait for the legal system to work, but I just don’t know about paying someone not to show up for work.
Then there are the other senators who may, or may not, live in the regions they represent. Mike Duffy may or may not live in Prince Edward Island, for example, and is being audited for claiming special expenses for a second residence.
Of greatest interest to the West is Pamela Wallin, famously from Wadena, Sask., whose expenses are also now being checked by an outside auditing firm.
Do we care where senators live? I think we should, for if they do not visit us from time to time, how would they know what we, the people in their regions, need? And if that’s not important, why are senators appointed from the various regions of Canada in the first place?
The big downside to all these alleged shenanigans among senators? You can’t vote them out when they really make you cranky.