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LETTER: Blame for Senate fiasco falls wide

Shakespeare said it best, "Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing; ’Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed."

My wise Dad told me that every dispute has three sides – yours, mine and the right side. His words came to mind while reading your editorial, copied from the Hamilton Spectator, Mike Duffy an unlikely and unlikeable victim.

Really! Your editor admits that Duffy actually did nothing wrong or criminal and that his biggest complaint is that we, through our elected and appointed House of Commons and Senate representatives and our RCMP police force stole his reputation. Duffy is now suing us for the damage and hurt we inflicted and continue to inflict on him. Your city editor in Hamilton calls him unlikable.

But Mike Duffy certainly was not considered unlikable prior to this sorry mess. I recall when I like many thousands of other Maritimers would gather around our TVs weekly to listen to his jovial politician banter with ATV host Steve Murphy. Our man in Ottawa would update us all on our national affairs with his expert, knowledgeable commentary and always ending with his wink for Mum in P.E.I.

We all loved him then. No one then ever questioned that he was anything but a Maritime boy from P.E.I. But, unjustifiably, we took all that away from Duffy. And he's hurting.

I agree with your editor that Duffy doesn't need the money so perhaps $1 would be adequate financial compensation. But if so, I believe we should try to find some appropriate way to restore his reputation and good name along with that of Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau. 

All three are still sitting, working members of our Senate. They were accused during the Senate scandal but subsequently cleared by our justice system and we have left them there to work under a cloud. That is just wrong! They and others may not be entirely blameless but the full blame for this fiasco should be shared by all past and present Canadians who since Confederation, have allowed our Senate to morph into a much-degraded institution from that envisaged by our founding fathers.

Ralph Ferguson


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