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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Eversince  this past Monday,Oct. 21,2013,Canadian politics suddenly got a milestone/moment which I deem as memorable for years to come. Canadian politics mind you,mon ami, isn’t usually exciting nor sexy like U.S. politics but I guess, there’s always an exception. I’m sure the city of Ottawa(the national Capital (‘similar to Washington DC in the US) is shaking in their boots right now.

SenateGate in a nut shell involves 3 senators(Mike Duffy,Pamela Wallin,Patrick Brazeau) who allegedly had used a lot of loopholes to acquire mass amounts of taxpayer money through expenses presumably acquired by the privileges of the Canadian Senate. In Canada, the Prime Minister can appoint anyone to the Senate which is a position considered a lifetime position(actually up to  age 75 y/o before retirement) with tremendous benefits,privileges and a salary I think amounts to CDN$130,000/yr.

This past Monday,Senator Mike Duffy’s lawyer  Donald Bayne ,gave an explosive news conference insinuating that there has been a lot of political wrangling involving coverup,deceit ,etc. from the Prime Minister’s Office regarding the strong desire to expel the 3 senators in question because it would damage the political party brand of the current Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party.

This past Tuesday(Oct.22,2013), the Senate was supposed to make a vote to suspend the 3 senators without pay in spite of the fact that a  formal hearing has yet to be scheduled. This runs the risk of  a growing constitutional crisis if ever.

The first senator who showed up on that day to watch the deliberations and to give his side of the story was Senator Mike Duffy who gave really an explosive account implicating the Prime Minister directly as the one calling the shots to his minions to make sure his chances of reelection doesn’t get jeopardized as a result of SenateGate. With Mr. Duffy’s  bombshell declaration of alleged conspiracy,coverup,intimidation,deceit,blackmail.etc. from the supposedly dictatorial Prime Minister Harper and his minions, it became DuffyGate for the Conservative Party.

Because of DuffyGate, Prime Minister Harper had to change his style from acting secretive and evasive in answering the questions from the opposition regarding his having any knowledge at all about these political undertakings to becoming feisty and confrontational yet still evasive to a certain degree in answering questions. Parsing the words is what I call it.

Up to today, the whole nation of Canada is still talking about SenateGate and DuffyGate and I doubt very much that it’ll go away very soon. It’s like watching a political thriller movie.

A separate police investigation is still ongoing regarding this fiasco and so far, initial findings involve unspecified yet substantial number of people involved in this political cloak and dagger scheme. I’m starting to see some Conservative party politicians getting queasy about voting off these 3 senators without the benefit of a formal hearing. It remains to be seen if all Canadian senators especially the Conservative Party Senators can act independently by making judicious political decisions and not be influenced by the alleged  dictates from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Frankly, if it’s proven that misuse of funds is valid, proper punishment must be implemented.Now as to political duplicity,coverup,blackmail,etc. allegedly made by politicians at the top office, Canucks have a long memory which might go into play in the next election because no citizen likes a conniving and dishonest politician who’s supposed to represent and help their fellow citizens get their programs pushed through.

Ongoing discussions of either abolishing or reforming the Canadian Senate has been going on for years but surely gets magnified now due to all that has been happening lately.

If only all parties involved go through a lie detector test….it’ll save us a lot of time! Where’s Maury Povich when you need him?

Josie

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Eversince yesterday, both branches of the U.S. government(executive and legislative) known simply as the U.S. Congress had finally did the inevitable—shut down( though partially) the U.S. government and its programs to prove a point,depending on which political party one belongs.

On the Republican side with prodding from its sidekick,the Tea Party, the desire to cut off Obamacare (the new U.S. health care law established by US President Obama and which had already been passed into law as well as acknowledged  by the US Supreme Court) and using it as contingent with the legislation of continuing funding for US government services. At the 11th hour, they would then propose to have Obamacare delayed for 1 year so as to give the public time to study it over.

On the Democratic side,President Obama understandably doesn’t want his health care law removed since his legacy will be compromised. He had to put up with a lot of political bickering to get it passed and surely was elated when the US Supreme Court acknowledged the new law in spite of Republican challenges to have it removed. Even if he allowed the delay of 1 year for Obamacare to go through, it probably is very unappetizing for him to think about it. He knows that such a delay will only open more political bickering and nil implementation. In a way, it undermines his authority and he feels insulted and disrespected.

As this partial shutdown is going through , all US govt services like the national parks,museums,NIH,FDA,just to name a few, are now experiencing funding difficulties to keep their respective agencies running.

.Furloughs of govt employees had already begun and 1 nasty domino effect had already started. Many folks don’t get paid and it also affects their respective families. The rest of the citizenry have already started experiencing some degree of hardship in light of this shutdown.

The rest of the world also gets affected in a way as evidenced by their respective stock exchanges.

What infuriates me is the fact that these politicians go about their pettiness and they get to keep their salaries as stated in their outdated US Constitution,because they’re considered essential employees–Essential,my eye!). Too bad the US govt isn’t a monarchy. Such a crappy provision should be revised. It reminds me of Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome is burning.

Which is why I’m glad that the US WWII veterans were able to barge through Washington DC to visit the WWII memorial. They served their country and deserve to be respected by allowing them to visit such sacred grounds. They survived WWII and will not be dissuaded by a furlough.They’re mostly now in their 80’s & 90’s and don’t have the luxury of time to avail themselves of a raincheck visit. I just didn’t like those pandering politicians greeting them  in that memorial.

To paraphrase the late US President Ronald Reagan’s words, ” Congress,turn down those walls of the shutdown”.

To all politicians, if all of you still want to do petty bickering,go ahead but don’t keep your salary during the shutdown. Give it to charity or to the furloughed govt employees.

Also,grow up! It makes us think that you all care only about preserving your reelection hopes and not your constituents. Very disgraceful!

If there was a king and queen ruling the U.S., I bet the words…”Off with their heads” seem appropriate in this case.

Josie