Soon to be former Senator Patrick Brazeau has been booted from the Tory caucus after being charged for sexual assault.
Or maybe he was kicked out because he was caught making fun of Theresa Spence at a fundraiser. Or maybe it was because he listed his father’s house as his primary residence, to gain a housing allowance…and then his ex father-in-law’s house to gain an aboriginal tax exemption. Or maybe it was because he had the worst attendance record in the Senate. Or maybe it was because of various Twitter indiscretions. Or maybe it was because of controversy around the organization he headed before being appointed to the Senate. Or because of his desire to keep two salaries when he first got the job.
Or maybe it was because he played no small part in launching Trudeaumania 2.
As Tim Harper recounts, there are no shortage of reasons to boot Brazeau – as a rule of thumb, when you reach the point where the “controversy” section takes up over 2/3 of your Wikipedia page, political parties usually aren’t willing to stand by you.
While Patrick Brazeau will no doubt become the poster boy for those arguing to abolish or elect the Senate, the real take-away here is that the Conservative Party did an abysmal job vetting Brazeau for this appointment. The threshold on being a Senator is considerably lower than being, say, Vice President, and I don’t think anyone pretends there’s a long list of qualifications and skills required for the job. But at the very least, for pure self-interest alone, it’s a good idea to make sure the person you’re appointing isn’t going to humiliate your party on a weekly basis.