Senators’ roles show pros of partisanship

Senate, partisan politics, federal campaign

The contrast between the recent Conservative and NDP federal conventions is already  evident.

Stephen Harper began his convention speech by stating that the Conservatives were not a party of entitlement. Did he mean that the three defeated Conservative candidates who he recently appointed to the Senate were not entitled?  Did he mean that the $50 million of G20 money spent in Tony Clement’s riding prior to the recent election was not Tory pork they were entitled to distribute as they flaunted federal budgetary procedures?

Jack Layton has repeated his promise to abolish the Canadian Senate – a major source of partisan patronage. But he will face opposition from both federal Conservatives and Liberals.

Both old-line parties used their Senators as campaign chairs and as chief fundraisers during the last election. Why did taxpayers pay for these partisan activities? Should the Liberal and Conservative party budgets not pay for these functions – like the New Democrats do?

The NDP convention was about ending partisan entitlements while the Conservative convention was about covering them up.

Ron Faris

Saanich