Saturday, 23 November 2013

The Senate: A Zombie Apocalypse

Back nearly 30 years ago, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau forced John Turner to hold his nose and appoint a slate of people to the Senate and other patronage positions. At the time, I was working in the PMO in the correspondence division and I spent much of that time answering angry letters from Canadians about all the hacks that were being given these plum promotions on dubious credentials.

There were postcards and phone calls, all questioning Turner's sanity. In his defence, Turner told Brian Mulroney he "had no option". That didn't fly with Canadians and Turner was turfed only four months into his job as Prime Minister.

But the smell has lingered and the fetid bodies of Senators for Life are rising up and threatening a zombie apocalypse.

This time it's Colin Kenny, a Liberal hack who was elevated to the Senate at the tender age of 41. Next year, Kenny will celebrate his 30th year in his job for life. What's even worse is that he has five years to go.

Now if you were Kenny, amidst all the fuss and fury of Duffygate, wouldn't you keep quiet and keep cashing the cheques? Wouldn't you want to wait for the ultimate gold watch while scarfing scampi in the Parliamentary dining room?

But no, Colin Kenny won't stay quietly in his office reading defence reports. He now seems to think while everyone is distracted by the Senate scandal, he can serve himself a few extra benefits.

And so now he's up on charges of sexual harassment after being called out by a young staffer who got tired of his leering and lurid gestures and wanted no part of being chased around the desk by Mr. Abernathy.

It's now been revealed that this is not the first time Kenny has creeped out staff with his grab, twist and squeeze routine. When called on his behavior, he's been known to throw temper tantrums like a three year old.

Of course, the charges have not been proven, and he is still under investigation but where there's Viagra, there's loin fire.

If he's found guilty of harassment, what will be done with his steaming carcass? Will it take an Act of Parliament to get rid of his sorry ass? Or will he be able to eek out another five years on the public dole?

Frankly, it makes me sick.

The Senate Scandal is bad enough. We don't have to turn the upper chamber into Pee Wee's Playhouse.

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