The following are a couple of letters to the editor that can be found in the last two editions of the Prairie Post dealing with Senategate that I found of special interest as they relate to giving “Steve the Heave” over this latest conservative scandal in Ottawa, which has captivated most Canadians with angst the last couple of weeks or so.
Senate problematic for Harper
Stephen Harper had a chance to be a leader, ethically accountable, humble and contrite by accepting responsibility for the Reform Party-led Conservative Senate Scandal, even to put it behind him. “He blew it” is the conclusion observers of Canadian politics are reaching, including the National Post’s John lvison.
Harper blew it. Instead of accepting responsibility, Harper tells us “Canadians want the Senate to change.”
But what is needed isn’t “Senate Reform”. Ethical conduct in appointment, yes. Patronage and partisanship, no. Divisive provincial senate elections, absolutely not. But that is what Harper wants and where he wants to deflect the Harper Conservative Senate Scandal.
Harper is using the scandal of his making and that of his party to push the Reform Party – his old party – divisive agenda on the Senate, to rewrite 1867 as 1776.
What we see in Harper’s failure of leadership today is Harper’s choice to deny responsibility for his appointments to the Senate and choice of Chief of Staff, to deflect responsibility onto the Senate itself and onto individuals – others – who he says should be held accountable and away from himself and his party. Harper is saying such individuals should leave his party and caucus. Instead of accepting responsibility for his ethical and leadership failures, Harper chooses to exploit the moment to advance the divisive “new Conservative” Reform Party agenda and policy directions.
Harper needs to be held accountable and to pay the political price which ranks with his conduct in the 2008 prorogation crisis he originated in calling for his resignation and a new ministry formed.
Whatever you wish to call the Reform “Conservative” Party, it is time to “Give Steve the Heave.”
BRIAN MARLATT, WHITE ROCK, B.C.
Senate-gate’ driving down Conservative gov’t credibility
The Oxford English Dictionary defines honour as the quality of knowing and doing what is morally right.
Yet, we are hearing nothing from our MPs about the corruption and scandal now engulfing the Conservative Party. Where is the response from our provincial government?
Where is the outrage at the unethical and unscrupulous behaviour of those who have whitewashed documents, made improper expense claims, or conspired in the attempted cover ups?
We citizens, need our elected members to stand up and express our angst for us to the government, and be our voice, not the voice of the Conservative Party. Government should be accountable to us, the people, not the other way around.
The continuing “Senate-gate” is just the latest in a series of fumbles and controversies that we have witnessed, by a government that has failed to live up to their own self-professed values of transparency and accountability.
It is time that the leaders we have elected take that trust seriously and clean up the mayhem that has descended upon Ottawa through the acts and failures of themselves or their cohorts.
How you handle these scandals for us will define how a lot of people will remember your term as our representative. Edward L. Flom says it well: “One of the hardest tasks of leadership is understanding that you are not what you are, but what you’re perceived to be by others.”
CHRIS MULHALL, WYMARK, SASK.
The lack of any type of mechanism in our Canadian democratic system by which mayors, councils and even Prime Ministers can be impeached/removed from office by way of a checks and balance system as what they have in the States with their legislative branch, or even a recall mechanism, is scandalous. Our system is broken and therefore in need of a major overhaul.
When you lose the faith and trust of the people, you should also lose your job. Both Toronto’s mayor and our PM refuse to come clean and answer questions openly and honestly regarding their conduct while being both arrogant and insolent in the process, openly showing contempt and disdain, and thereby little to no respect to the people they represent, along with zero accountability.
Our own mayor and council avoid open debate by way of a public forum, such as a town hall meeting, while completely ignoring the fact 2510 residents here have a problem with them, since last year. In addition to a litany of abuses of privilege and power it has recently come to light that they have been circumventing the democratic process by holding ‘secret meetings’ on our dime in direct contravention of the Municipal Government Act.
The way things are now, once someone gets elected they pretty much get a free ride, no matter what they do, and we the people have no means to kick them off the bus, even when we feel we want to, or must, because they now endanger the public liberty, and/or to avoid damage to both us and/or our vehicle (city/province/nation).
There’s something definitely wrong with the system we’ve got, and therefore something has got to give if we don’t want to continue seeing more wrecks, as we are seeing now.
We have to realize that playing within the system is not going to work, some revolution is needed to bring evolution in the system.