The behaviour of senators recently has made people beyond the senate’s traditional opponents call for its abolition.
By: Chantal Hébert | Toronto Star, Feb 8, 2013
History will eventually tell whether this was the week when public fatigue with the Canadian Senate passed the point of no return.
What is certain is that the abolition of the upper house is well on the way to being upgraded from a Plan B dearest to the heart of the NDP to the Plan A of a critical mass in the country’s political class — possibly including Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself.
The latest controversies involving a handful of senators potentially playing loose with the upper house’s honour system and — in the case of Patrick Brazeau, also crossing the line into Criminal Code territory — have once again cast a disreputable shadow on an unloved institution.
The fact that Mike Duffy and Brazeau were hand-picked by the current prime minister to sit in the Senate and happen to be Conservative household names only compounds the damage.
But this week’s developments are just the latest in a series that is turning outright abolition from the path less travelled to the preferred route for dealing with a colonial-era federal institution.