Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Pamela Wallin and the thin blue line

During this luscious August week, it's hard to believe we have to be bothered by the Pamela Wallin travel expense scandal, but bothered we are.

If I were Pam Wallin, I would never travel again. Put yourself in her $800 pumps for a moment. Imagine standing in line waiting for a flight and having everyone stare at you, or jeer at you, for taking a flight headed to T.O. from Ottawa. Or waiting in the Timmy's line for your double double with eyes boring into the back of your Donna Karan smock.

I can hear the wise cracks now.

"She'll be having the chocolate donut," someone might say. "You know, the one that's double dipped."


Some of my Facebook friends are actually saying that Pamela Pitstop is being unfairly treated because she's a woman in a bouffant hairstyle. I'm not so sure. Like Lucy being caught by Ricky, she's got a lot of 'splainin' to do.

The University of Guelph loved her as a Chancellor because she didn't charge them much for her trips there. That's because she charged you, the taxpayer. I suppose she was concerned about students having their tuition raised. But as a taxpayer, I couldn't give two shits about the students at Guelph University. I care about the fact that that wasn't Senate business, it was Pam's business.

And I'm not buying the whole Toronto legover thing, either. I lived in Regina and I know how hard it is to get there from Ottawa, but Pam spent more time in Toronto than in Wadena, where apparently she doesn't really live.

What got up the rumps of the Deliotte beancounters was not the transfer in Toronto, it was all the meals and taxis and shit she charged while there. Surely, Pam has a stove in that condo. And a car. Maybe her hubby could pick her up from the airport. That's what we taxpayers do when we can't afford the high cost of cabfare.

The biggest issue, of course, is that she charged her expenses to her Senate account for Conservative Party business. It's all over the audit. Now the papers are all saying -- Jeff Simpson come on down -- that this is a long standing practice of Senators most of whom are baggies who put the governing party's bums in the seats of power. I know a lot of these people and I don't remember them travelling all over the friggin' country to show up and speak at fundraisers. That's why they're called "backroom" boys.

Keith Davey did some of his best work on the telephone.

The best example I can think of is Senator David Smith who ran many federal election campaigns over the years. David has among the lowest expenses of any Senator. That's because he knew where the line was. He charged his political expenses to the Liberal Party, not to the people of Canada.

Apparently Pam and her tubby buddy Duffy didn't even understand there was a line. Weren't they supposed to be hot shot journos? Guess they were just hair and teeth, with no brain attached at the stem.

For me, the problem is bigger in the Senate. I believe when a person is appointed to the Senate, he or she should be made to stop sitting on boards and taking on extra-curricular activities. It's not like being a Senator is a low paying gig, right?

Sure, they have a lot of time on their hands. Senators are like firefighters. A lot of them do work under the table and buy themselves big houses with the proceeds. That's illegal, too. But most firefighters spend their time volunteering.

They coach football and raise money for children's charities. Some of them work out.

It wouldn't hurt these Senators to do some of their "good work" on their own dime instead of lining their pockets at the taxpayer's expense. Maybe then they wouldn't get themselves into so much trouble.


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