Jonathan Kay considers the situation with Senator Fairbairn.
The folks commenting on this story in the mainstream press and social media, even the snarky ones, aren’t mocking Senator Fairbairn. They’re mocking what her case says about the Senate. And they’re absolutely right to do so, even if the underlying news story is sad and personal. In fact, I know of no single episode that better summarizes the need for Senate reform.
Either the Canadian Senate is important and useful, or it is not. And if it is important and useful, then it demands intellectually competent members — which Ms. Fairbarn, sadly, isn’t anymore. If she is not legally competent to enter into a contract to buy a house or sell stock, why did her fellow Senate Liberals see fit to line her up to vote on legislation affecting 33-million people? The fact that they saw nothing wrong with this suggests that they themselves see their body as a sinecure pasture. And obviously, that candid insight into Senators’ own views is something deserving of reportage and even mockery.