Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
I see you have started appointing journalists to the Senate and I think it’s about time you put away those fussy old Reform party ideas about a so-called “Triple E” senate and take to padding it with the same cynical relish as your Tory predecessor Brian Mulroney, who, in 1990, appointed eight senators in a single day in order to get the GST rammed through.
I’m just sending this note to let you know that I’m making myself available. I know you’ve got another round of appointments scheduled in March and I don’t want to miss out.
Obviously, you didn’t know I was available when you made your most recent picks. If Mike Duffy gets to climb into a nice cosy Upper Chamber seat and doze off, why shouldn’t I be next in line? I mean, my qualifications are a match for his. And unlike Mike, I wouldn’t need the extra chair.
Look, I’m at least as old as he is. Some would say washed up, but that’s cruel and unkind. I prefer to think that I’m seasoned and experienced, like Mike.
Like Mike, I have the ability to form instant opinions out of thin air and communicate them wisely and gravely. I can even do that little head move he has that simulates thoughtfulness. Ideal in a senator, who can say or think whatever he or she likes in confidence that it will be ignored because no one ever listens to a senator.
Like Mike, I have absolutely no actual experience in government or governing, so I have no idea how hard it is for MPs who actually have to get elected by the population at large rather than get appointed by a grateful prime minister. I also have no intention of finding out.
I also understand the Senate meets for 90 days a year and senators can miss 21 of those days before any penalties apply, which means I only have to turn up once every five days or so and still get the $130,000 per annum cash and perks. So I won’t be hanging around getting in the way.
You can rest assured that I have never said or reported anything of any consequence that might embarrass you, so I am eminently qualified to cash in and I am more than willing to serve until 75, which, sadly, is only 17 years away. Time is of the essence! Don’t worry about the collapse of the economy or the fact that your minority government is hanging by a frayed thread of national sufferance — the time is always right to hand out the pork to your real friends.
Yours in journalistic and Parliamentary integrity, Paul