This morning, retired General Romeo Dallaire resigned from his 9-year stint as a
Liberal independent senator. Dallaire is a renown humanitarian, which makes you wonder why he was in the senate. Appointed by Paul Martin in 2005, Dallaire is one of few senators who left their post not because of spending scandals or wrinkle-related death.
With Dallaire gone, the senate has been reduced from barely useful to the Canadian democratic process to not really at all.
What do we do with the senate now? Harper and Dallaire have broken up. <Obligatory Romeo and Juliet joke here>
The Senate has been the topic of much debate in the last year. Senate scandals featuring Mike “I’m telling the truth” Duffy and Pamela “I ain’t paying you back” Wallin have brought senate reform — or abolition — into view. Justin Trudeau had removed partisan appointments from the senate, ejecting his caucus of Liberal senators, who now sit as independents. The Auditor-General is also auditing senatorial expenses, which makes most senators soil themselves (and not because they’re old and wear diapers).
So, why is the senate here? Spending scandals, ultrapartisan skirmishes, unqualified public servants, and its appointed nature all point to a need to abolish the institution. It’s hard to have a chamber of sober second thought when our senators are the farthest thing from sober.
The last ounce of legitimacy has left the senate. The doomed institution is now the doomedest. This is the beginning of the end. We can wait to see who replaces Dallaire, but speculation is quite enjoyable.