I had no really strong views on the Duffy affaire, except that I thought Senator Duffy was a very, very good communicator, as is Senator Wallin. Both, and others, embarrassed their parties, and Prime Ministers Harper and Trudeau took different approaches. Thus far Prime Minister Trudeau’s seems to have worked better.
I am usually suspicious of those who say that we should run government like a business or like one’s home. That’s a facile sort of statement because governing a country is far, far, far more complex than even the biggest enterprises ~ GE, for example. But one place where we could take some lessons from the private sector is in rules for travel, hospitality, etc. They don’t have to be the same, but they have to be clear and sensible. (After I retired from the military, as a senior officer, I joined a private sector agency. I still travelled a lot and I still had to account for all my travel expenses, but the private sector used a much, much simpler set of rules and procedures: strict, but easy to understand and, therefore, easy to follow.)
I don’t know what’s going to happen to any or all of the senators now. Their reputations have been ruined and I guess it is still possible that some may face prosecution. I cannot imagine that Senators Duffy and Wallin are interested in returning to the Conservative caucus; I cannot imagine that Ms Ambrose wants them back. Senate reform is a whole other issue with which i will deal in some future post, but, for now, I would like to see a private sector management firm brought into parliament ~ both the House of Commons and the Senate ~ to rewrite the rules and procedures for travel, hospitality, constituency offices and so on. The requirements of parliamentarians are different from those of business executives but I simply cannot believe that giant corporations like, just for example, PwC (but, caveat lector my son is a Vice President there) could not understand the requirements and develop and implement a good, simple, clear system that would help all of parliament to regain the trust of Canadians.