I as a Canadian taxpayer am shocked by the scandal that is currently rocking the senate.
With three individual facing the possibility of legal action and having to reimbursing the Canadian taxplayers thousands of dollars through disallowed claims, I ask myself how many other cases are there? Do these appointees feel there is a sense on entitlement that comes with the position?
Two of the individuals involved in this scandal were prior to being appointed to the senate were journalists. Their previous occupation duties would have required them to read and interoperate documents accurately. There is a claim that claim documents are confusing and ambiguous.
This scandal has I believe distracted senators away from their appointed task of providing sober second thought to legislation send before it from the House of Commons. A large number of them are probably hunkered down with accountants insuring their expense claims are squeaky clean.
I lay blame at the feet of the Liberal and Conservative parties of Canada. These parties along with the prime minister's office appoint individuals to the senate. In fact the senate is currently made up with a majority of Liberal and Conservative party supporters.
The New Democratic Party believes that the senate needs to be abolished. I agree with them on that.
Since this would require Constitutional change it may not happen. These individuals would come from provincial votes. The soon-to-be senators would have had to run though lost in that provinces election. Their numbers would come from the popular vote. As an example if a province was entitled to ten senators and the ruling party captured 30 per cent to 34 per cent of popular vote they would appoint three people to the senate and if the opposition had 33 per cent of the vote they would send three people to the senate and so on.
Since provincial election are held at different times there would always experience in the upper chamber this would also bring a more diverse make-up of the senate. Benefits and entitlements would transfer between federal and provincial governments. This would also allow the Individual who is a sitting senator to run in the next election, if successful he then become a member of the legislature, if not he could also be reappointed to senate again.
It is my opinion we have given too much power to the ruling party. Unfortunately the old adage of power corrupts is sometimes true. I believe it time to remove some of this power.