With the exception of Dalton McGuinty, I can’t think of a single politician whose name sets my blood to boiling more so than the Honourable (now Independant) Senator from P.E.I., Michael Dennis Duffy.
While every disclosure deepens the stench surrounding everything about his appointment, his activities as a ‘senator’ and his now laughable attempts to deflect responsibility for obvious financial wrongdoing, there is a dimension to this sordid saga that may, in future, represent a silver lining of sorts, though not exactly as the sort of ‘legacy’ that Duffy would want for himself:
The disclosures concerning Duffy’s arrogant feather-bedding through the, till now, largely un-monitored political perks factory, have absolutely galvanized and infuriated the public to the extent that even the Senate committee which initially whitewashed Duffy’s wrongdoing was ‘scared straight’ into actually doing its policing job; clearly shamed into doing so by public disclosures, not a sense of duty or integrity.
This will likely be the first pillar of Duffy’s legacy – a real, and perhaps independent – mechanism of oversight for the expenditure of the, in David Dingwall’s famous words, “entitlement to [their] entitlements”. I doubt the PM will be brazen enough to let the prince and princesses of pork continue to police themselves.
I’m sure there is to be much more careful vetting of senate appointments at least from the point of establishing actual residency. But, above all else, this debacle may well have laid the groundwork for something virtually unthinkable perhaps only 18 or so months ago; the actual abolition of that useless sinkhole of political patronage entirely.
I look forward to a day when Mike Duffy sits on the porch of his (now actual) home in P.E.I., wistfully reflecting on his former job in the former Senate for Canada. Thank you, Mike, for making it all possible…