As the feeding -at the-trough hijinks of Senator and former journalist Mike Duffy continues to disgust the nation, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation last week continued to remind us that politicians continue to ignore the larger issue at hand – that of accountability.
Under pressure from the unrelenting media pressure related to the scandals in the Upper House, the Senate board met in public for the first time ever to tighten up the rules related to expense claims.
Now, senators will actually have to produce a receipt for some expenses.
That’s right – prior to the “tightening” of the rules, senators did not have to produce receipts for all expenses.
Similar rules apply to MPs.
Canadians need to protest loudly, and immediately – the lack of rules that seem to be based on some kind of archaic, elitist notion that people appointed to these positions are somehow more honourable or trustworthy than the rest of the unwashed masses.
The CTF is currently calling for the Harper government to pass the Private Members Bill by MP John Williamson, (Conservative – New Brunswick Southwest).
The bill, entitled The Protecting Taxpayers and Revoking Pensions of Convicted Politicians Act, would take away the Parliamentary pension from any MP or senator convicted of a serious crime, including stealing from taxpayers.
It looks like the Duffy case has exposed a raw nerve within the Canadian public. That’s good – we hope the publicity and pressure continues – until Duffy is gone from the senate for good, and accountability is forced upon everyone who has access to public funds.