Political Scandals. Rebecca Duce

Political Scandals. Rebecca Duce

To start, last week, suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau criticized a reporter for asking if he drank the previous night, leading him to ask if that was her view on native people. In my opinion, that comment was in no way one directed to his ethnicity, but for the sake of that argument, I’m also native. With that in mind, if there’s anything that could be found offensive to himself from the perspective of a self-identifying First Nations individual, it would only be offensive to myself, as well. No need to think I’m pulling the race card, Brazeau.

On November 5, 2013, Canadian Senators Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau were suspended until, as CBC politics has reported on Nov. 5, the next federal election which is slated to be on or before October 19, 2015. The Senators have been stripped of the rights their position holds, their pay and their benefits (with the exception of keeping their health and life insurance benefits). CBC has also reported that Wallin was suspended with 52 yeas, 27 nays and 12 abstentions; Duffy was suspended with 52 yeas, 28 nays and 11 abstentions; and the vote to suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau concluding with a result of 50 yeas, 29 nays and 13 abstentions. In the Upper Chamber, there is a mandatory retirement age of 75 years old. With that in mind, by 2015, the three would be eligible into their old roles with their then ages being around 62, 69 and 41 respectively. During this whole scandal, with an unprecedented 83 per cent of Canadians following the story either closely or somewhat closely (CBC Politics, Nov. 1), one Senator was facing other controversies as well (as opposed to simply the spending scandal that the punishment stemmed from). In fact, this Senator has been involved in multiple issues in the span of his nearly four years in the Senate. That would be the youngest current Canadian Senator Patrick Brazeau, appointed to the role on the advice of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in December of 2008. At this time, Brazeau (former national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples) was 34 years old, a rather sharp contrast to the  “Senate Age Average” of 64.5 years old as of February 15, 2013 (according to the Parliament of Canada website).

In my opinion, suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau should of been suspended long before this instance and I face shocking disbelief that he has not only remained in the Senate so long when considering his previous controversies, but that he in fact was suspended with the least amount of “yeas” and highest amount of “nays”. The Senate, it seems, has let me down. In my eyes, Brazeau, or “@TheBrazman” as he rather unprofessionally has as his Twitter handle, should of been under harsher punishment or investigation for calling Canadian Press journalist Jennifer Ditchburn a “bitch” over his official twitter account in response to her writing about his poor attendance record in Senate or committee sittings. More importantly, for being charged on Feb. 7, 2013, for the assault and sexual assault of his wife, Ms. Sunshine Tenasco-Brazeau, which included allegedly hitting her, grabbing her throat and then pushing her down the stairs. Brazeau was given a $1000 bail and the notice to keep further than 150 meters of Ms. Brazeau’s home and work. Harsh language towards a reporter from an official social media account and shoving his spouse down the stairs by the throat. These two events lead to his removal from the Conservative caucus in the Senate (therefore making The Brazman an independent). With that in mind, it took the expense scandal of all things to get him out of his position? Not only that: he’s received the same punishment as Duffy and Wallin, in fact, with less Senators agreeing to his punishment than of the other two, even with his previous trouble making? That, quite frankly, disgusts me. The Brazman it seems has gotten away.

It leads one to wonder, does Brazeau even understand he has the possibility of coming back to office? That he’s only suspended and not expelled? On Nov. 13, 2013, suspended Senator Brazeau posted the following from his official twitter account, “Anyone interested in knowing about the #cpc/ caucus mtgs/ PMO control, I’m officially for hire.” In this instance, “#cpc” stands for the Conservative Party of Canada, “caucus mtgs” refers to caucus meetings (of which Ms. Ditchburn reminds us that he had a habit of not attending on a regular basis) and “PMO control” is in reference to the Prime Minister of Canada’s office. Quite frankly, it seems an immature move from a public official. After all the allegations posed during his time in office, he’s only been suspended. To me, it seems a light punishment compared to what could of happened in regards to his career. In response, the unelected politician decided it would be in the best interest to sell his knowledge regarding the inner workings of the Canadian political system (“sell” from the definition of the word “hire”) to the public.

As a Canadian Senator, even as a suspended one, Patrick Brazeau is entitled the style of “The Honourable” in front of his name for the rest of his life. With everything said and done, the only thing I can do is question that.