Larry Smith Appointment Highlights The Farce
Like most Canadians, I don’t pay a lot of attention to the Senate. We don’t vote for it’s members, it seems to have been around forever, and rarely, if ever, is there any clear cut scandal or publicity that implies that all is somehow not well in this government appointed body. And, besides, we have the melodramatically bad acting and general artery busting outrage of the House of Commons to keep us entertained and distracted when it comes to trying to understand how this country actually functions.
It would be almost fun if it all wasn’t so damn important!
Some appointees during the Harper years do raise some flags for me, Jacques Demers, Pamela Wallin, and Mike Duffy, to name just a few of the better known Senators. What, exactly, was their qualifications for being in the senate? Duffy is an old political journalist, but he is more of a political networker, borderline groupie, than an actual hard on the issues type of contributor. Pamela Wallin? Makes me mistrust all our television newsreaders to see her go in the Senate as a Conservative, or any other party for that matter, and Harper’s dream of a Fox North would no doubt be populated by future Senators. Make no mistake, they have agreed to go in as Conservatives. Jacques Demers? I have served on the board of a well known literacy group, and, sorry, Jacques, having a senator with reading issues just sends the wrong message.
So along comes Larry Smith, a football executive, whose monstrous ego is well displayed in his comment about the Senate minimum wage of $132,000 a year being a “catastrophic” cut in pay. Perhaps Bill Gates or Oprah could use that word under those circumstances and at least be technically correct, although it’s unlikely any of us would swallow it. To further complicate things, Mr. Smith claimed that he would not accept a post in the federal cabinet until he has earned his way in after being elected as an MP. Not exactly humble stuff, Mr. Smith then announces that he will run in a riding on the West Island of Montreal. At least the Senate salary would cover pre-campaign expenses until that time that he announces his candidature and quits the Senate. That’s right, folks, Stephen Harper has appointed a Senator who will step down in less than two years to run for the House of Commons, and, no doubt, a place in cabinet. Too bad you can’t just appoint MP’s, eh, Mr. Harper?
Ever seen a young person at work who gets hired and is so boneheadedly obnoxious to everyone and shares with all his belief that he will be running the company in 6 months? That little rumbling in your brain is the sound of Larry Smith entering Canadian federal politics. (more…)