Saturday, December 7, 2013

There's the right way to do things...

... and then there's the stupid way, such as the tact that Conservative Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais decided to show with an offensively frank reply to his NDP MP's recent mail out:

Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais on Friday became the second senator this week to join the fray, directly challenging a New Democrat MP for advocating abolition of the upper house in a flyer sent to her constituents.

In a letter sent to all parliamentarians, Dagenais referred to Charmaine Borg's flyer as "a rag" and suggested she's a whiny, ignorant, powerless Quebec MP who was elected by fluke and stands little chance of being re-elected.

CBC isn't just playing up what he said, either - those are almost direct quotes. This guy honestly didn't know where to stop, and clearly didn't run it past any of his staff, colleagues, or God help him, the PMO. His letter wouldn't have made it past Save As if he had just thought for a second.

I like the idea of Senators, Conservative or Liberal, sticking up for their chamber against increasingly misleading NDP attacks against it. There is a difference, however, between defending your job and pointing out the services you provide, and sending a hissy fit e-mail to all members of Parliament. I mean come on, that email is barely befitting the conduct of an irate toddler, let alone a member of Canada's Upper Chamber. Why not say something like "as a constituent of yours, I find this very disagreeable, here's why:" - HOW IS THAT HARD!?

Sigh. I think there needs to be a spirited defence set up for the Senate, I really do. If we can just explain to Canadians why its there and what its uses are, we can counter the NDP's bull. But its getting increasingly hard to do so when folks like Dagenais are allowed to speak.

Hint hint at the solution.


  1. I find your last line offensive and patronising; " hard to do so when folks like Dagenais are allowed to speak". Guess what he's a senator with parliamentary privilege-he has a right to speak! I understand your point but comments such as the one above make you no better than the honourable senator and certainly put you into conflict with your own comments!

    The problem with Borg's position is that abolition is almost impossible to achieve under Trudeau's constitution. I would also question whether the elimination of the Senate would make Canada a better governed country. However, the most egregious problem with the NDP position is that it does not allow Canadians a frank discussion on the subject-it assumes the NDP knows best and know with metaphysical certainty what Canadians want.

    1. I agree with you about the fact that abolition is practically impossible, if not unwanted - but Dagenais crossed the line far too many times in just one statement, not only disrespecting a fellow Parliamentarian but also his own Office. No Senator should stoop to such vicious ad hominen attacks over a policy disagreement, and if they do, they rightly deserved to be put down for it.

  2. Kyle have you read Sen. Dagenais' letter to Ms. Borg? it is curt but, misogynistic, untrue, vicious or false it is not. Dagenais substantiates his criticism of M. Borg and the NDP something you have failed to do. In fact the senator was not "disrespecting" Ms. Borg he was criticising her. Raising a critique of a fellow parliamentarian or party is one of the great benefits of our system, some may even say disagreements are the very foundation of Parliament. Should your comments about the senator also be "put down"? Since you level accusations without context or proof? As above your comments make you no better than the Senator and certainly make you appear disingenuous.

    Dear Member,

    What a rag!

    That is the only word I can think of to describe the pamphlet that you sent to citizens in the riding at the expense of all Canadian taxpayers.

    As an NDP MP, who would likely never have been elected without Quebecers’ spontaneous sympathy for Jack Layton, who appointed a bunch of puppets to fill the holes in several of the province’s ridings, did you know that the abolition of the Senate that you’re talking about isn’t even part of the NDP’s platform? And you certainly don’t know enough about constitutional matters to be making such claims. There is a well-stocked library on the subject, available to you in Parliament, and I suggest you use it.

    Under the circumstances, I understand that you are blindly parroting your leader Thomas Mulcair to denigrate the Senate and its senators. Can you remind him that he has wasted enough time in the House of Commons, where other priorities like the economy, jobs and security could have been discussed in recent months for the good of the country? However, with a program as weak as yours, I understand that he may not have anything else to talk about.

    I hope that the results of the recent by-elections will make him reflect on your chances of returning to Parliament in the next general elections.

    Because you believe that senators are useless, allow me to inform you that since the election of NDP MPs in Quebec, I have been asked on numerous occasions by citizens and organizations in your riding to intervene in government matters. When I suggested that they first go and talk to their MP, they all responded that you were useless and powerless to do anything. Make a note of that and tell your colleagues. You can even tell them that it gave me some pleasure to hear that.

    Parliamentary life, Ms. Borg, is not just about whining, although you’ve become very good at it and the media certainly takes delight in it. Canadians and a large majority of Quebecers recognize that we have a healthy economy thanks to the Conservatives and they continue and certainly will continue to reject your socialist ideas.

    Jean-Guy Dagenais
    Conservative senator and citizen of Blainville