Canadians do not want to be ruled by rich snobs. Such was the conclusion of a big survey commissioned by the Tory government last summer, but only revealed last week. The results exposed a Canadian public deeply critical of what they perceive to be an out-of-touch Ottawa elite comprised of "rich politicians" feathering their nests with perks and privileges "while taxpayers personally struggled to make a decent living." Unfortunately for the Liberals, Canada's got an awful lot more suburbanites than bigshots, and the polls suggest the two tribes aren't exactly on good terms.
We don't need two elected chambers in the Parliament of Canada. One is enough. Imagine the conflicts that could arise between two elected bodies, each feeling they have mandates to represent the people. Just look at the gridlock that exists in the United States Congress. Our system, which is based on the British or Westminster model, has stood the test of time.
At its core, the Prime Minister's role in the Senate expense affair is a story about the elected head of the government of Canada demanding some shred of accountability and ethics from a crooked political institution whose members believe they have no obligation to provide either. That's not a scandal.
Earlier this week, the Senate received an independent audit of former Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin's expenses. This report not only confirmed what has been reported in the news for weeks -- that Senator Wallin was involved in submitting potentially fraudulent expense claims costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars -- but it exposed the latest example of Stephen Harper's poor judgment. Either this Prime Minister deliberately misled Canadians or he didn't really inform himself on the facts of Senator Wallin's case, contrary to what he told Canadians. Whichever, it demonstrates a bona fide lack of honesty, integrity and accountability that has become a hallmark of the Harper Conservatives.