Whether he wants to or not, Senator Mike Duffy is likely going to go down in the history of the Canadian Senate as the guy who broke the camels back. I mean, who in their right mind could defend reforming the Red Chamber now? It needs to be abolished!
Pigs at the trough, if not all of them, most of them, regardless of their political affiliation or which prime minister appointed them.
In reality, it is our Governor General who appoints Senators, on the advice of the Prime Minister. However, the prime minister is not their boss! In fact, according to this Wikipedia description, Senators are above MPs in the House of Commons in order of precedence — which is actually a scary thought given they are not elected.
Anyway, I have no intention of making excuses for Senator Mike Duffy if the latest allegations against him turn out to be all true or even only partially true.
So, what is the latest RCMP allegation?
According to this Globe and Mail piece, the allegation against Duffy is that he paid a “consultant” approximately $64,000 out of his Senate budget over a four-year period of time for speech writing and web development services — services that the alleged consultant is saying he only did in part for income he is denying having received.
Anyway, who or what to believe. “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. (Link)”
But, make no mistake about it, if this allegation is found to be true, Duffy is going to be spending a considerable amount of time in jail. And, frankly, if the allegations are true, he will deserve to be there.
Why do I say that? Because what is good for the goose (Liberals) is good for the gander (Conservatives).
Take a look at what happened to ex-Liberal Senator Raymond Lavigne and why it happened:
“[Judge Robert] Smith found [Raymond] Lavigne guilty of defrauding the federal government of $10,120.50 related to false and inflated mileage claims for car trips between Ottawa and Montreal. In some cases, reimbursement claims were made when his assistant drove his own car and Lavigne wasn’t a passenger.
Now, look at what happened recently when Lavigne tried to get early parole. Not only was that denied but his behaviour was referred to by the Parole Board as criminal.
Let me repeat. Lavigne is serving six months in jail and six months on probation for misusing a little over $10,000! Wrong, yes, but pretty small change when compared to what we are hearing out of Ottawa and all the huge Senate expense repayments.
Entitlement gone amuck!
Updates Wednesday, October 9th:
(1) It occurred to me that some readers might think I am criticizing Prime Minister Harper and his Conservative caucus in this post. I am not. See my latest post.
(2) What has also occurred to me is that the consultant in question could simply have been on retainer. $64,000 over four years would work out to about $16,000 a year which is average for a contract for that kind of status — be available if I need you kind of thing. In fact, I have had those kinds of contracts. Usually, however, I do plenty of work but being on retainer is not unusual, particularly for lawyers, for IT professionals and/or communications consultants. Was that the case? Only time will tell but having someone on retainer would not represent illegal activity.