rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Liberals buy into the myth of a non-partisan Senate

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Senator Linda Frum recently wrote on Twitter that "a Senate full of meritorious but apolitical, non-partisan, politically neutral appointees is a fantasy/myth/lie."

And the partisan/shameless/intolerable Senator Frum is right. There's no such thing as a politically neutral human being, and if she thought through her own logic a bit further she'd realize that this makes her and every other senator redundant and a waste of perfectly good velvet.  

But the Liberals apparently believe in the myth of the non-partisan objectibot, so they're setting up an advisory board to recommend merit-based Senate candidates. Any Canadian can apply if they meet certain criteria. For example, they must have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their chosen field of expertise, which in Senator Frum's case was fundraising for the Conservative party.

They also must own $4000 of property because that is the foundation of a strong moral fibre and definitely not a constitutional relic to restrict the aspirations of the poor with the interests of the landed gentry.  

But none of these criteria matter because the behaviour of political representatives doesn't depend on who they are, it depends on how accountable they are. There's a reason the expression is "power corrupts" and not "power corrupts bad people but not people with a proven record of integrity."

And in case you weren't already convinced the Liberals were just reshuffling a stacked deck, all recommendations of the advisory board will be non-binding on the Prime Minister.

And like a sitcom that adds new characters to distract viewers from how terrible it is, the Senate will continue to be renewed season after season. Urkel wept. 

This video originally appeared in The Toronto Star

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Thank you for reading this story...

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.

If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.

We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing in 2017.

Make a donation.Become a monthly supporter.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.