The Salem Senate trials

The speech Mike Duffy would’ve given


The Guardian in PEI has a copy of the speech Mike Duffy would have delivered had he been in the Senate yesterday.

Colleagues, the Senate and the House of Commons are not courts, or if they are, they’re Kangaroo Courts undermined by partisan, political or personal conflicts of interest. Due process is the only way to achieve fairness and fundamental justice in our cases.

Witch hunts are bad, our ancestors learned that after the trials in Salem, our parents and grandparents learned it from the slanders of the late Senator Joe McCarthy, my generation learned it from Watergate. Please stop this witch hunt and allow the police and the auditors to do their work.

CP reports that there is some confusion as to just how far removed from the public payroll the Senate’s infamous trio now are. Ms. Wallin’s lawyer tells Global that the senator’s pension is beyond the purview of the Senate.

Now it matters what the auditor general will find in his review of Senate expenses and how the precedents of Mr. Duffy, Mr. Brazeau and Ms. Wallin will be applied.


The Salem Senate trials

  1. Salem, McCarthy and Watergate??

  2. Pamela Wallin turned me into a newt but I did get better eventually. I do have to admit that Duffy looks like he weighs more than a duck but we should check to see if he floats anyway, just to make sure.

    • Listen — strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

      • This isn’t a democracy!

    • LOL: pretty sure he’s a floater…

  3. You know every ones having a blast about abolishing the senate and what we we should be doing with it, but it seems no ones to eager to explain how to dismantle it and the costs associated with it. so before you blast off, start doing some research.

    • Apparently we may be going to have a referendum [ what a circus that will be] after which we will essentially blackmail both the provinces and the justices at the SCoC into ignoring the constitution so we can call in the wreckers to the place.
      What could possibly go wrong with this? After all every other one of Harper’s bright ideas have panned out just fine.

      I believe this is Harper’s plan c.d, e or is is it f right now. i lose count of where the chess master is about now.

  4. Question – do these suspensions survive a prorogue?

    • Naughty.

      Answer – yes, and so does the scandal associated with it.

      • Moi? I just wondered because this has obviously not been thought through very carefully. Questions have come up re pensions and the Senate can’t answer them.

        • I knew there had to be a good reason to keep prorogues around. They’re tailored made for a govt as essentially incompetent as this one.

          • Because the suspension is for the duration of this session. And sessions are ended by a prorogue. And there has to be a prorogue in order to give a Throne Speech.

      • I thought kady o’malley wrote that the suspensions die when this Parliament ends, so if harp prorogued again, then the Senate would have to take them back, or re-suspend them.

        • If that’s the case this really has been a joke then.

          • You think he’s got another prorogue in him before 2015?

          • Why not? It’s worked so far, mostly. It’s not like he’d doing anything worthwhile when he does allow the House to sit, is it?

          • I am interested in what oppo parties and some media reps have been saying this week — that harper is using this whole senate order to keep msm on that and to distract from something else. What would the “else” be?

        • Ah – I’ll have to read what she’s written. It will be hilarious if they have to do this all over again in a year – even if the prorogue for a day.

  5. Thumb this post up if at your work, you get outright fired for cause (not suspended with full benefits) if caught submitting fraudulent expense reports. Thumb down if you don’t. Let me know if you need a court of law to convict you before you get fired.

    • If you like the analogy of employer-employee relations in the typical workplace (which the Senate, decidedly, is not), other possible outcomes exist: suspension with pay, pending the results of a thorough investigation, or a law suit for unjust dismissal.

      The courts are where I expect this mess will go next. Everyone is already lawyered up. Like any other porn flick, it’s time for everyone to drop their briefs.

      • That’s what’s missing in this whole thing – some sex. Surely one of these characters is having an inappropriate relationship. The Americans always have this angle covered.

    • If I was fired first, and then the expenses proved to be legitimate, I would wrap that employer up in legal crap for ever and they might end up paying a higher price than if they just waited. And it would be a negative atmosphere for all my colleagues, to see a trusted appointed professional get bodyslammed without due course.

      • Ah interesting…so now you are holding out the possibility that these expenses are legitimate?

        If they are, do you have any potentially libelous comments you’d like to go remove?

    • And employers never get successfully sued for wrongful dismissal. This simplistic talking point you’re repeating is just meant to incite the mob, not shed any light on employer practices.

      • This simplistic talking point you’re repeating is just meant to incite the mob

        LOL. Oh to have that power.

        • It’s Harper’s talking point, and he has the power – or at least he thinks he has.

    • What would the board of directors of such a company do with the CEO who hired those employees, then vouched for them when the fraud came to light, ordered one of the employees not to cooperate with a board-ordered audit to get to the bottom of the fraud, and had the audit altered to cast a more favorable light on the employee who didn’t cooperate? Who’s 2IC paid off that employee, and who simply refuses to answer the board’s questions about the whole matter?

    • Point of order…due process does not simply mean a court of law you know, it means far, Far, FAR more than that. There are also significant differences between being an employee in a private sector company versus being a sitting legislator of the highest level of government in the land (elected or not makes no difference in this respect), and that the processes that constitute due process fairness for each are not and can not be so simply equated. As to the expences, the question as to their legitimacy under the rules that were in effect when they were incurred is significantly less clear cut according to the auditors own findings, AND there is still a significant difference between theft with intent to steal and simply charging all you think you are legally able to and then finding out you were wrong and paying back the overage. These distinctions have all been buried by PM Harper, clearly with intent, and his respective mouthpieces in the House and Senate.

      Please understand, I have had little to no respect for any of the Senators involved from the moment they became sitting Senators, and I do have some serious concerns about their expencing practices. However, since there never was anything remotely resembling a fair and reasonable process so that they could make any challenge to the audit or present their defence as to how/why these overcharges occurred (remember, no one who saw these records in the Senate and in the PM, including by his own words the PM himself saw anything wrong or out of line until it became a significant public scandal causing negative damage to the CPC government and Harper himself) and how they were under the impression they were legitimate according to the leadership at the time they were incurred and submitted.

      This is the problem with your extremely simplistic binary solution set approach to this issue, and why it ultimately deceives far more than informs (and I am not saying that is your intent, just that because it excludes the points I have made that it fails to inform fairly the actual reality and makes for a false, if still understandable, comparison/equivalence) of the reality here. I like so many other Canadians wanted to see that due process and fairness were seen to have been followed, not because I like these three, not even because I believed these three, but because it is the right thing to have done consistent with basic Canadian values about little things like said due process, the rule of law, being a part of a just society, and beyond partisanship and party affiliations I would argue these are basic Canadian values shared across the board in this nation by its citizenry.

      Finally, one does not get fired without having the ability to defend one’s position unless the evidence is conclusive enough that there would be no reasonable way the employer could see themselves being at risk of losing a wrongful dismissal case, so even in the private sector it is not as black and white as your question makes it appear to be. There are lesser stages that can be taken as others have already mentioned, and there are clear processes for someone to follow if they feel they have been wrongfully fired with clear protocols established for what happens if they prove their case, aka due process. None of which exists in this scenario as it is an unprecedented circumstance with clearly questionable legality to it, since the payment for Senators is established by Statute passed by the entire Parliament and not just the Senate, which means the Senate alone may well be legally unable to cut off the salaries regardless of what it alone moves.

      These facts all show why this is anything but a clear cut matter, and it shows why what happened on Tuesday was one of the most disgusting corruptions of power to ever happen in the Red Chamber and one of the most damaging to its credibility and honour, far more so than even if all the Senators had been deliberately stealing every cent claimed. One of the biggest problems I have with too many people, especially Conservatives but not limited to them, is this apparent disbelief/lack of understanding that there are not only other kinds of scandals when tax dollars are not involved/stolen, but that these scandals/offences can be even more serious, more dangerous, and more fundamentally corrosive to democracy and good government than any simple theft of taxpayer dollars could ever be. What happened in the Senate Tuesday I submit is an excellent example of just that, and I suspect the history books will end up agreeing with that assessment when all is said and done, not that I will take any satisfaction from being correct, there are some things one wishes not to be correct about. Part of the problem for why so many fail to understand that there are scandals beyond theft of tax dollars I submit has been the rhetorical focus on taxpayers instead of what it properly should always be, CITIZENS by to many politicians, especially but yet again not exclusively Conservative ones.

      I had wished that my concerns regarding Harper’s placing himself above the law and going to be the worst abuse of power scandal PM in our history were going to be wrong, alas the record has shown if anything I may have been understating those fears. Believe it or not, but I would have much rathered been made to look like a hysteric by the facts than be correct, I actually value process far more than ideology and policy, because without a strong and healthy process the rest means little to nothing as do those that hold power within it. In that politically I am much more of a process geek than any kind of partisan, and it was always as that process geek that Harper gave me the most concern since well before his rise to the PMO as my written record shows. This week’s actions regarding the Senate, and the PM’s clear claiming of it as a triumph and victory for “doing the right thing” only showed yet another example where not only were my fears correct, not only does Harper mislead on fundamental process truths/realities, but that also far too many citizens out there including but not limited to his supporters do not understand enough basic civics to understand why what happened was such a bad thing and so damaging to the process side of our politics and governance even setting aside the due process fairness issues involved here.


  6. Harper has, in effect, excommunicated three more Cons, all of whom have potentially devastating counter-narratives. Two of the lapsed have made very successful careers out of their communications skills and now have nothing to lose in exploiting those talents in their own cause at every opportunity.

    Unless Harper forsakes his own bunker mentality, he’s going to be hard pressed to deflect their salvos. The prospect of mutually assured destruction awaits.

  7. Why is Watergate on Duffy’s list? Is Duffy not aware that the Nixon administration actually did break the law, leading to the resignation of the president and the jailing of his chief of staff and of the Attorney General of the United States (and dozens of other conspirators)?

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