House of Cards

House of Cards 3

Canadian Senator Mike Duffy is quoted in a CBC NEWS article as saying: “I’m still learning about those secret handshakes and the wink-wink, nudge-nudge.” The same article reports that later in 2009 New Democrat Peter Stoffer questioned the Senator’s growing expense claims – some $40,000 of taxpayer-funded travel after being in office just a few months. The Canadian Press followed by asking Mike Duffy how many party fundraisers he had attended in the past year, what other public causes he was championing as a senator, and whether his full-time home was indeed Ottawa. Perhaps in hindsight Duffy should have given these questions serious consideration. Instead he is reported to have replied by e-mail: “You are beneath contempt…I follow all the rules.” And yet Canadians are given to understand in statements made by Duffy that the rules covering expense eligibility were unclear. Penny Collenette, writing in today’s Globe and Mail states what Canada’s law makers should all know: “If you don’t understand the rules, you ask for clarification.” Dark clouds of mistrust hang low over the Canadian Senate.

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