Despite what I posted yesterday, I’m pretty sure Brad Wall is pretty glad that he ducked a political minefield with Senator Pamela Wallin and the PMO expense account scandal. It’s Harper’s problem, not his.
Let’s say that Harper did call for a Senate election to fill that vacancy, which they could have done between May 2009, when the SaskParty passed the legislation, and now, as Wall says they will repeal the legislation (they could have held the election in November 2011, in conjunction with the provincial election). Let’s say that Wallin won (Given the strengths of both the Saskatchewan Party and the relative disinterest in Senate reform by either the NDP and Liberals, it’s impossible to imagine otherwise). And let’s say the scandal had happened just as it is happening now (Given that PM Harper sees the Senate as nothing but a place to continue fighting his elections, it’s also impossible to imagine otherwise).
Instead of most SaskParty and Saskatchewan Conservatives distancing themselves from Wallin as if she had caught a communicable disease, they would be personally tainted by the scandal more so than by Harper appointing her. They would have put their credibility on the line for her, and the catcalling and outrage (feigned or otherwise) in Question Period in the Legislature or Parliament would have been nothing compared to the outrage every card-carrying party member would have received on coffee row, or at the grocery store, or wherever, from the public mocking their party members caught snout deep at the public trough.
Wall got away with one because in the Canadian political scale, senate reform is like changing the light bulb in the garden shed – it’s one of those things we’ll get around to someday. Not now, but someday.
Meanwhile … Wallin’s shtick has always been that she’s this pure, simple, kind-hearted prairie girl who works hard. Her former aide says that’s a load of you know what. They are starting to turn on each other, and there’s a chance of an internal Conservative civil war by the time of the 2015 election.