Patrick Brazeau

Some of the things he's said on First Nations accountability I agree with. I think he was a good sport about the Trudeau fight and his participation led to a lot of money being raised for an important cause. I disagree with him on a number of issues, but I don't wish ill on him or his. I think there's way too much animosity and aggression in the political sphere and we're worse off for it.

However, a person who defrauds taxpayers by saying they live out of town when they don't, who skips out on their child support payments, who results to sexist insults when called out on their pitiful attendance record, and who now may be charged with domestic abuse... I feel embarrassed as a Canadian to think that any Prime Minister of any party would choose someone with a track record like that to be given cash for life as a senator.

I deliberately stripped all the gender-specific pronouns out of that paragraph because this isn't about a particular case of domestic violence, for which I have nothing but sympathy for the victim and nothing but faith in our justice system to ensure those responsible are held accountable. This is about a culture where being appointed to the senate is seen not as a noble duty to be thoughtfully carried out for the good of all Canadians but as an opportunity to take everything that isn't nailed down.

The argument that government should be run like a business doesn't hold much water to me - there are too many differences. For example, at Shopify, if everyone acted selfish all the time, if our response to criticism was to undermine our critics' credibility rather than address the areas where we fell short, we would not be where we are right now, full stop. Friendly competition in things that aren't zero-sum games is great for morale, as is the knowledge that we're all in this together and that we all have to do our part to contribute and make things happen. If we don't, the company stagnates, falters, closes. We'd all lose our jobs and have to find new ones. The government of Canada isn't going to just close down and send everyone home. It's too big to fail.

Of course, when you think of private companies deemed too big to fail, and the level of deceit, theft, and corruption going on there... well, maybe the public and private sectors aren't that different after all, everything else being equal.


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