Canada’s elitist senate studies itself.

An argument in Canada’s senate recently was whether an independent member could spend public money to study the public attitude about the senate. While we are not entirely clear on why, it seems that independent senator Donna Dasko spent $15,000 of public money and expected it to be paid from the senate’s petty cash account. The argument flared in the senate’s internal economy committee.

The argument was on pseudo party lines between senators appointed by the previous conservative prime minister Stephen Harper and independent senators recommended by the elite recommendations committee and appointed by liberal prime minister Justin Trudeau.

What seemed to annoy the conservative members of the committee was that the independent majority approved the expense despite the claim from the conservatives that they had not even read the questions the survey asked. It also seemed improper to the conservatives that the questions were in the field just before the federal election. That seemed to be a bit partisan to these political appointees.

Senator Dasko has an excellent reputation in the polling industry as well as years of experience with Environics Research.  No doubt, we can be confident that she would not (knowingly) let the questions reflect the fact that she is a member of the organization she was studying. Though we are not entirely surprised that her basic finding is that Canadians seem to approve of liberal Justin Trudeau’s changes to the senate. It is even more likely that Canadians would welcome the immediate dismissal of the entire bunch of senators.

You hardly need a survey to find out that Canadians would be much happier with no senate for which they had to pay. The original intent of the senate was to give land owners across the country regional representation to review the expenditures of the elected commoners.

The major problem is that these senators, conservative or independent are still the only unelected people in Ottawa controlling their own ever-increasing expenses.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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