As usual, Canadians can watch their parliamentarians get bogged down on the symptoms rather than tackle the disease first-hand.
Certainly the who, what, when, where and why surrounding Senator Mike Duffy’s bailout by a now ex-top Conservative is serious stuff and Canadians need to see why accountability among our politicians has become an afterthought.
But Canadians also want to know what they can expect to see happen with the Senate, particularly in light of all this insult, and whether the parties at the Commons level can work toward something or, as usual, simply agree to disagree.
Not surprisingly, in the House on Tuesday, opposition members bombarded Stephen Harper and the Conservatives with questions about Duffy’s invalid expense claims and his rescue from that dilemma with a $90,000 cheque from the prime minister’s former chief of staff.
What did the prime minister know about it and when? Fair questions – to which they can expect a poker-faced non-answer.
But, interesting, as this incident gathers steam, those who defend Harper and the Conservatives say he is at least trying to reform the Senate. And they add that the other parties are standing in the way.
Many of those have claimed the Liberals support status quo.
As for the federal NDP, Leader Tom Mulcair is indicating enough with the trifling adjustments of the upper chamber. His party is urging abolishment altogether.
Doubtless a fair number of Canadians agree. But then there are all the fine details: what is possible outside the Constitution and what agreement is likely to be reached among the provinces within the Constitution.
How be everybody put all their cards on the table about this issue. When the heat surrounding Duffy and other errant senators has settled, the parties must face each other and discuss where they stand on the Senate’s future. It’s become a large enough issue that a lot of Canadians would base their next vote on the answer.