While we wring our hands over what to do with the Senate, our political leaders have made some terrible decisions.
A complete audit of Senator expenses cost nearly 24 million dollars and “flagged” about a million dollars of dubious expenses. Sounds like a great investment of our money. How the hell do you spend 24 million on an audit? Whoever got that contract is laughing all the way to the bank (at taxpayer expense).
The current show trial of a show pony, i.e. the Mike Duffy trial and it’s associated investigation will cost taxpayers another big pile of money, way beyond some alleged pilfering of expense money.
I am not suggesting that we should encourage further expense pilfering, I am suggesting we implement processes to prevent future offeneses. This would be relatively easy and cost effective. Since the expense pilfering is apparently widespread and been ongoing for decades, the current approach will cost taxpayers far more than can be recovered, so just don’t do it! The simple cost-effective solution is to create clear rules, oversight and enforcement going forward. Apparently, that makes far too much sense to ever be implemented.
As to the problem of Senate patronage appointments. The solution again is obvious: an elected Senate with term limits. This also solves the residency problem since regional voters are unlikey to elect “parachute” candidates. Since we already know how to do elections, let’s expand that to cover the Senate. While I am at it, we should have a fixed election schedule so elections are not used as a partisan political strategy. This is bad for democracy.
Our political leadership has totally failed us on these issues, as they cover their asses at our expense.