Ah, the sober, the wise, the silent (for most of it’s modern times) chamber of golden thoughts, of augured advise. Filled with splendid scarlet robes once a year (the Throne Speech), the rest of the time just with scarlets ….
Who would have known two months ago that such an epic drama worthy of Shakespearean talent will play on the venerated Red Chamber stage.
Here is Desdemona-like Pamela Wallin; Yago in the body of Mike Duffy; and heroic native warrior Patrick Brazeau. All with huge letter ‘A’ burned through the flesh of their senatorial temples by a demonic and tyrannical Steven Harper. The Tyrant with the help of all creatures of the Netherworld represented by Government House Leaders, Chiefs of Staff and other equally terrifying apparitions.
‘Veto !’ – in a tragic style of Polish XVII century Parliament, yells across the floor tortured Mike Duffy. Votum separatum against the tyranny of the King. I have letters – he cries -, letters, royal patents and solemn declarations! I was promised to be given and given abundantly and now the King has taketh what he giveth! And wants more even. I am a Roman senator and Caesar has no right to touch me nor my title and the money to it attached!
Than Act II of the drama. This time i na style of Nathanielle Hawthorne’s ‘The Scarlett Letter’. Pamela Wallin, who cries: I was pure(itan) too, than was blemished by you. I trusted and believed and was used and tarnished. Was given a rose but the petals had fallen and only thorns remained. Poisonous thorns. Unclean and unpure.
Senator Brazeau watches with sadness but stoic silence. Coming in a straight line from an ancient tribe of honorable warriors, he will not beg for mercy or expect leniency. Like a last samurai. Notwithstanding the sword and an act of harakiri which, of course, is barbaric in his view.
Than, from the shadows of another tower in the enormous Castle of Power in Ottawa all of it is heard and watched by the Tyrant – the Prime Minister himself. For most part acting mostly not as a lion really but a shy street cat. A jab here, a scratch and than retreat. But one glorious day he roared, roared like a lion-king! Of honour, of dignity and no mercy for scoundrels.
Thus the epic battle between two Houses of Parliament is played on national stage. Some senators even talk of getting it straight to the Governor General, the Viceroy of Canada. I have not seen such a battle since perhaps the truly huge battle over the Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). And that was about 20 years ago. If anything, Canadians will at least become familiar with some names of their senators. Otherwise they would have no clue who their senator is. Although, most still will not, even after it all will played off. And, to be honest, it is not a battle between the House of Commons and the Senate. It is a battle between the Parliament and the Prime Minister Office. What’s at stake here? What are the enormous tasks to be or not to be undertaken?
Is it over the new Trade Agreement with Europe? Over the explosive revelations of massive spying by Canada’s Spy Agency on almost all of Canadian citizens? Over the billion spent and wasted on military procurements that never happened? What is at the centre of this huge and truly mesmerizing political battle?
It is the Prime Minister’s own maniacal control of all and everything; in the Senate it is the small-mindedness of otherwise intelligent and brilliant people who truly cannot comprehend that they are not entitled to all and everything; it is about abuse of power, privileges and lack of decency. And at the end it is a fight of full political control. I have no sympathy for neither Duffin nor Wallin, certainly not for Brazeau. But I do agree with them on one: have they listen to the Prime Minister and respected the roles given to them to play – the prime minister would have never unleashed his fury and vendetta on them. It is not about the dignity of the House of Senate (not entirely anyway) – it is about the lack of dignity in the Senate, among senators, in the Prime Minister Office and by the Prime Minister himself.
There is nothing royal in the Canadian Monarchy that was shown in recent weeks and is still being played on a national scene. It resembles a Banana Republic. And it is disgusting.