Could our very own Senator Mike Duffy (if he can call P.E.I. home without having lived there for decades, surely we can tag CKDH’s Round Mound of Sound a Nova Scotian for his 1960s stint as an Amherst radio disc jockey and news reporter) succeed in doing what decades of NDP policy wonks have failed to do?Bring down the Senate of Canada.
And, perhaps, a prime minister in the bargain.
It would be a delicious irony if Duffy — who liked to be called “The Senator” long before he was one, who lobbied successive Liberal and Tory governments for his appointment to the chamber of entitled-to-their-entitlements and whose journalism career ultimately became one long suck-up, appoint-me-please job application/supplication — should go down in history as the architect of its demise.
It would be even more delicious if Stephen Harper — who began his political career as a Reform Party triple-E Senate reformer and who, as prime minister, refused to appoint a single Senator until the 2008 faux threat of a Liberal-NDP coalition prompted him to name his own Gang of 18 in order to outvote the Liberals on the Senate floor — should now be brought down by a Senate scandal of his own making.
Harper’s 18 new senators, of course, included Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau, the three at the heart of the current expenses scandal.
Harper didn’t appoint Wallin and Duffy — both high-profile broadcasters — for their lifelong support of the Conservative party, but so he could trade on their public personas to fill party coffers.
Which worked until it didn’t.
Those same public personas have now not only given the expenses scandal marathon legs but also offered the disgraced Senators an Everest-high pulpit from which to fight back after Harper decided to disappear them.
While Duffy will almost certainly lose his battle against suspension this week, he will have succeeded in exposing the seamy, smarmy underbelly of Harper’s PMO.
That — coupled with an expected Supreme Court ruling keeping the constitutional bar for Senate reform unachievably high — just might force Harper into a channel changing popular referendum on Senate abolition.
And that may be enough to force an end to the Senate, but not enough to save Harper.
Win-win. Thanks, Mike.