Sober second thought on Senate reform?

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here is this crazy MacGuilicutty doing his best Alfred E Neuman "What me Worry" impersonation. This guy wants to abolish the Senate? Piss off MacGuilicutty. Not till I get my turn at the $132,000 pig's trough! Photo by John Diefenbaker.

McGuinty, who wants the Senate abolished outright, said the whole issue lacks relevance to Ontario voters.

Forward to an illuminating article. On. Senate. Reform. Yaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwnnnnn!

By Terrance Gavan – Ottawa Bureau Chief

We are buggered on the subject of Senate reform here in Canada.


Because it’s such a buggered group this panel of hacks and former pols, affectionately called our chamber of  sober second thought.

Every once in a while we hear about some Senators treating the chamber with chafing disrespect.

Some senators don’t even attend the mandated sessions, preferring instead to bide time in Mexico and Phoenix. And other more serene and cloistered locales. Though it would be hard to locate a more cloistered group than our Senate Chamber. Winter in Ottawa is not conducive to sober thinking apparently.

These louts grab the peremptory headlines and the pundits will piss pour and moan over the shuffling twits who prefer to flaunt their excess instead of earning their fecking paycheque – which, by the way is not proverbial chicken  scratch.

There are normally 105 senators in the Senate of Canada, the upper house of the Parliament of Canada. Canadian senators are not elected. They are appointed by theGovernor General of Canada on the advise of the Prime Minister of Canada.

2011 Salaries of Canadian Senators

The salaries and allowances of Canadian senators are adjusted on April 1 each year. Increases to senators salaries are based on an index of wage increases from major settlements of private-sector bargaining units which is maintained by the federal Department of Human Resources and Skills Development. For 2011 the salaries of Canadian senators have been frozen at the 2010-11 level.

Base Salary of Canadian Senators

All Canadian Senators make a basic salary of $132,300.

Extra Compensation for Additional Responsibilities

Senators who have extra responsibilities, such as the Speaker of the Senate, the Leader of the Government and the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, government and opposition whips, and chairs of Senate committees, receive additional compensation.

The extras will, we presume, contain the compensatory perks usually attributed to the hoi polloi of the grey-haired set. Haircuts, expense account, gym fees, valium, drinks at the press club and office staffs.

My name has been on the Senate review list for the past 10 years. A friend of mine hacked into the system circa 2002 and placed my name in something he called the Lucifer Loop. Don’t ask.

What it does – in a nutshell – is add my name to every new candidates list. So no matter how many times they erase me? It keeps popping back  in every time somone opens the file.

It makes for some interesting phone calls.


“Hello, this is and you’ve got Terrance Gavan.”

“Um. Hmm. Mr. Gavan this is Hector Cavendish, I’m with the PMO and I’m phoning potential Senate candidates. Um? Are you still interested in becoming a Canadian Senator?”

“Of course I am Cavendish. Do you actually get people who say no?”

“Hah! No. I hadn’t thought about it much before but you’re right. Now do you mind me asking?

“Ask away young Cavendish.”

“Who the hell are you?”

“Well, Cavendish I suppose I should be ofended, but it’s a fair question. Bottom line Cavendish I’m no one. And I’m everyone. I am just a typical Canadian citizen, with a BA, a dog, a few jobs and a solid heart. I also possess a great sense of humor, which should come in handy. And I can hold my own on most of the relevant topics of the day.

“And young Cavendish?”

“Yes, Mr Gavan?”

“Tell them I have sleep apnia and imsomnia so I will very seldom join the others who like to grab forty winks during heady senatorial discussions vis-a-vis pressing bills on the dock.”

“I will sir. I will. Do you mind me asking another question?”

“Ask along my son. As Falstaff liked to say: ‘Anon, anon sir, sally forth into that breach. Get on your fecking horse and ask away young Cavendish.’ ”

“Right. So Mr. Gavan, what party have you supported.”

“Which party would you like me to support Cavendish?”

“What? Well, I’m phoning from from the PMO.”

“Fine then young Cavendish, call me a Tory. Or call me whatever you’d like. Put me on that fast track because quite truthfully, Cavendish? I’d admit to being a lifelong member of the Communist Party if it’ll give me a better shot at that $150,000 sinecure.

“Um, $132,000 Mr. Gavan… the salary is $132,000.”

“Ah yes young Cavendish, but you haven’t met my accountant Homer V Slimbutter III. Let’s just say he’s a wizard with a spreadsheet.”

“So now Cavendish? When do I start.”

“Well Mr. Gavan. This is just the first contact, of course. We will get back to you of course as we contact all eligible candidates.”

“Tell Mr. Harper young Cavendish, that I dine weekly with Brian Mulroney and count Hugh Seagull (sic) as one of my closest confidantes. Now run along son and put me on that shortlist.”

“Good day Mr. Gavan.”

I am packing my bags and preparing my suite at the Chateau Laurier. I will be open to visits and expense account meet and greets from everyone in Haliburton. That goes without saying.

But we digress, peremptorily and without apology. But back to the Senate chase.

Our Ontario premiere Dalton MacGuilicutty has lost my vote.

Abolish the Canadian Senate?

My God. Is MacGuillicutty a witch doctor?

We might just as well abolish, the sun, the moon and the stars.

What a… a… spoil sport.

Anon anon sirruhs.

“A horse, a horse. My kingdom for a horse.”

Preferably dead.

Thus allowing me to beat it… with a cedar switch.

Anon and anon and anon. Sir.

Gav is out and it’s Labor Day weekend!