Nathan Cullen got it right.
Like a blind carpenter, Cullen was repeatedly swinging away and missing the nail in a mailout to constituents earlier this month.
But after whack, whack, whack, he finally hammered home the nail with one strong and single stroke.
“The Senate is unelected and unaccountable, it costs Canadian taxpayers $92.5 million per year and most senators only work about 70 days per year. The Senate is less and less about sober second thought and more and more about kickbacks and entitlements which has no place in a 21st Century democracy like Canada,” Cullen stated.
During the late ’80s, a Triple-E senate (equal, elected and effective) was the acronym of the day in most of Western Canada.
Bert Brown was carving EEE into barley fields, Stanley Waters was, yes, actually elected to the senate by the province of Alberta and Preston Manning was even giving a rookie journalist in Vermilion, Alberta plenty of time to ask his questions.
For a time, it appeared that the affront to the Canadian taxpayer that is the Senate would be fixed.
But again Liberal and Conservatives continued to, as Cullen states, appoint lackies to feed off the taxpayer teet for one selfish reason or another.
There is only one reason there has been just one NDP senator — Lillian Dyck — and why it’s a safe bet for NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen to call for the abolition of the Senate — they never have won an election and unless Jack Layton is reincarnated, it’s doubtful there will be an Orange Wave big enough any time soon.
Regardless, they have it right.
Even with the recent debacle of former journalists Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy, senate abuse of the taxpayer is systemic and crosses all party lines and governments. It’s nothing new and as we’ve seen right here in Prince Rupert, any chance for a politician to charge something up to the taxpayer, they will do it.
Government is expensive but necessary.
We know that the Senate is expensive, but is it necessary?
Aside from the party politics, Cullen hit the nail on the head — no it is not. It does absolutely nothing to justify its existence.
Forget a Triple E Senate, how about a Single E Senate?