Imagine a Senate of Canada Kickstarter -

Imagine a Senate of Canada Kickstarter

People of Canada, please give generously — the Senate’s band of luckless appointees needs your support

People of Canada, please give generously

Photo illustration by Sarah MacKinnon

Beset by financial scandal, the Senate has become a huge problem for Stephen Harper. But there’s a solution. To discourage further expense-claim chicanery, we need to find a way to get more money into the hands of the disadvantaged members of the upper chamber.

We need to grasp that this ragtag band of luckless appointees can’t possibly get by on a measly $132,000 a year, plus benefits, per diems, free travel, generous allowances and probably back rubs, tons of back rubs.

People of Canada, I invite you to contribute to my Senate of Canada Kickstarter. An online tool to secure crowdsourced funding, Kickstarter is popular among enthusiasts of movies, music and mayors who may smoke crack.

Give generously and together we may be able to satisfy the financial appetites of our most privileged political citizens. Donate today and these exciting perks could be yours!

Pledge $10 or more: One (1) Senate of Canada pen.

Pledge $25 or more: Your name will be mentioned aloud in the Senate chamber and forever immortalized in Hansard, likely in association with the phrase “cheap bastard.”

Pledge $50 or more: A piece of Senate legislation will be named in your honour, then read aloud in your honour, then fallen asleep to in your honour.

Pledge $100 or more: Former Conservative Sen. Patrick Brazeau will extend to you one (1) middle finger. What’s he supposed to do with a hundred bucks? Is this some kind of joke? Pony up for real, pal.

Pledge $250 or more: Enjoy the emotional thrill and bodily harm of having Mike Duffy use you as a human shield to keep reporters at bay.

Pledge $500 or more: You will be entitled to serve as a character witness for the next senator who faces criminal trial. (Note: Must feign stroke during cross-examination.)

Pledge $1,000 or more: Supporters who donate $1,000 to a senator will receive one (1) complimentary meeting with the Ethics Commissioner, who will be investigating why you just gave $1,000 to a senator. Meeting may include up to one (1) glass of tap water.

Pledge $2,000 or more: Donors are entitled to have an apology made on their behalf by Sen. Pamela Wallin, whose expense claims remain under audit. (Note: apology will be incomplete and insincere.)

Pledge $2,500 or more: At this elite level of giving, former Liberal Sen. Mac Harb—who was recently ordered to pay back $231,000 in wrongly claimed expenses—will personally designate your home as his primary residence. Do you have any dependents? Mac Harb could sure use some dependents. Hey, are you going to finish that sandwich?

Pledge $3,000 or more: Complimentary dinner and drinks with between one (1) and three (3) humiliated senators. (Complimentary for them, so bring cash.)

Pledge $4,000 or more: A sitting senator will come to your home and diminish your faith in parliamentary democracy in person!

Pledge $5,000 or more: You deserve a day to yourself—so let the master of excuses, Sen. Duffy, phone in sick for you! He’ll even handle any follow-up queries regarding your “health issues.” Don’t worry about job security: Mike can smoothly stickhandle through any contingency. Some examples:

Q: Where’s your doctor’s note?

A: “Medical forms are complicated.”

Q: How come you don’t sound sick?

A: “How come you’re a jerk?”

Q: Didn’t I just see you at the movies?


Pledge $7,500 or more: A dishonoured senator of your choice will personally do your taxes. I smell a refund!

Pledge $10,000 or more: Exclusive Senator for a Day package! Live the life of a crony, bagman, brown-noser, party loyalist (or some combination thereof) for a full 24 hours! We supply the business suit, the shiny shoes and the overwhelming air of disdain for our country’s institutions. You supply the gall to double dip on your per diem and expenses.

Pledge $90,172: Welcome to the super-exclusive “Chief of Staff” level! Donate this amount to bail out one (1) over-entitled, utterly shameless senator, and you’ll enjoy the unmatched experience of losing your job, damaging your reputation, enduring a police investigation and regretting your decision for years to come. You’ll also get a Senate of Canada pen! (You can’t keep the pen.)

Follow Scott Feschuk on Twitter @scottfeschuk


Imagine a Senate of Canada Kickstarter

  1. I don’t want to abolish the

    They are supposed to ratify or
    reject legislation that is running through the House of Commons. They should be
    making their determinations by way of Senate Committees. The Senate can also
    table legislation for consideration by the House of Commons.

    They can – and have – rejected
    legislation even after Third Reading. Some parts of the omnibus budget bills
    foisted on Canada are still hung up in the Senate right now, as is Bill C377.

    The Senate is supposed to be a
    system of “checks and balances” to supposedly prevent the
    concentration of power in the Prime Minister’s Office – however, since they
    have been stacked by successive governments, they end up being little more than
    “Yes Men” for their respective parties.

    Personally… I don’t believe
    the Senate should be abolished because that second level of “checks and
    balances” is sorely needed. If
    there is to be any reform of the Senate, it should entail a strengthening of
    the “checks and balances” system – along with ACCOUNTABILITY.

    The Senate is supposed to be a
    means of balancing power so that radical agendas of a new government are more
    difficult to achieve. It was meant to be the Chamber of sober second thought.
    In many ways over the years it has played that role. I believe it has its place
    but only if successive governments treat it with respect when they appoint new
    Senators. As we know, PMHarper has shown absolutely no respect for any Canadian
    institution. Most notably Parliament. Why would he start now?

    • yes the problem is the rules of the Senate. each new prime minister is allowed to appoint senators, since the Liberals have been in power for the majority of time since 1867 they are top heavy with liberal when a unpopular bill is brought to them they just ram it through. to get rid of senate aint so easy

  2. How much for lunch with the Prime Minister? After all, he’s the one who appointed the majority of these flunkies, hacks, and political bagmen into office.

    Let’s see how much we can raise here on the Maclean’s forum for a meet and greet with the big guy from Calgary Southwest. I’ll get it “started” with a bid of $15.00. This should cover the cost of a couple of Happy Meals at McDonalds. I’m told that the PM tries to get each new toy that they issue and that he’s got quite a collection.

    • Nah – in order to survive a lunch with Harper there would have to be copious amounts of alcohol available. Maybe the dive bar Klein frequented.

      • I was thinking gravol.

    • The missing 3.5 Billion dollars should do it!!!

      • its not missing per say, its there in mounds of paperwork and receipts

        • Yeah, but aren’t you the same guy who either lied, or was too ignorant to know that the Conservatives (thanks to Stephen Harper’s appointees…59…all of them Conservatives) in the Senate form the majority?


  3. Nadine we need to elect you to the senate you would be a perfect candidate

    • I very much agree that Nadine’s attitude is the right one for any future Senators.

  4. One of the best articles I have read about the Senate problems.
    We don’t need them. We don’t even know what they are doing besides spending our hard earned money shamelessly. This country would be better off financially without
    having them on our payroll.
    Congratulations to Mr Scott Feschuk !

    • “We don’t even know what they are doing…” You can thank your provincial governments for not teaching about the workings of our government. You can thank successive governments for creating an environment where Mom & Dad are so busy earning a living that kids are raised by TV, specifically American TV. You can thank successive PMOs so anxious to forever increase their power that they make it their business to discredit or ignore every form of check & balance in our constitution. Thank the many who don’t bother to inform themselves before voting, or worse, can’t be bothered to vote at all! You can also thank the media, whose job it is to hold government to account, busily scrambling for ratings with fluff & entertainment, trying to please corporate and/or penny pinching political, masters.

  5. Thank you Scott, for another hilarious and brilliant column on the Senate! I always read your page first when our Macleans’s arrives in our mailbox! so funny!!

  6. I don’t want to abolish the Senate. I want to reform the appointment process to make it more credible as a regional, less partisan balance to the Commons. Require that all future appointments be made from a short list, 2/3 approved by a Senator’s respective provincial legislature. Such a system would restore regionally representative appointments, discourage patronage, encourage bipartisan support, create a vetting process & leave some discretion to royal prerogative. It would be a huge improvement on the status quo!

    • Rob,
      All excellent ideas, that’s why they won’t work! The way to change the Senate is to take away the ‘appointment for life’ clause and stipulate that they serve one eight year term. Then it’s out the door and down the road.

      • Senators are not appointed for life! They are expected to retire on or before their 75th birthday. Once more, they serve at ‘Her Majesty’s Pleasure’ on the advice of Her first minister & therefore that pleasure can be withdrawn on the advice of said first minister. To be fair, the second point is a theory of mine that I would very much like to see explored.

        • Until the ripe old age of 75.Does Brazeau deserve 40 yrs of senate salary?There are some in the Red Chamber since 1984,now with 104 senators x $250,000.00 @ year =$26,000,000.00 per year,C’MON CANADA,IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!
          DO WE NEED THIS???????

    • If the senate operated as designed,[sober [hic zzzzz] second thought] it would have the teeth to coral Harper’s proroguing the government.After all it was designed as charged SOBER SECOND THOUGHT with power but as I see it , it’s in complete role reversal,the tail is now wagging the dog!!!

  7. Really, is this really happening? Wait till you hear the US prezis travel bill. He’s spending $100 million on a trip. Can you raise that sort of money on kickstarter?

    Its a nice fun idea though…just for the heck of it…

    Kickstarter is becoming a donation camp, so how about sparing some change for the hungry and poor. Remember the time when Kickstarter messed up on that “how to rape a woman” book? Eventually money was given to some charity kind of like a goodwill gesture.

    Its a good idea to do charity even when you don’t mess up.

  8. Fire all the senators. Take away there petitions. Canada doesn’t need another useless group of politicians.

  9. I hope all the negative replies about Harper and the Senate,remember who to vote for in the next rigged election !!!