June 16, 2013 2:12 pm

The Senate scandal will stick to Harper: historian

“The Suicide of the Senate.”

That’s the title Michael Bliss, a prominent historian and author, would choose once the ongoing Senate scandal finds its way onto the pages of Canadian history books.

That title, he said, emphasises “how very serious this scandal is and is going to be.

“Consider the problem the prime minister has in ever trying to appoint another senator. What self-respecting Canadian would accept an appointment to the Senate of Canada? That’s how serious it is.”

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Previous Conservative scandals such as being found in contempt of Parliament and botching the fighter jet procurement process haven’t managed to stick to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. But this one is here to stay, Bliss said in an interview on the Global News program The West Block with Tom Clark.

“I think that the senators have really done it, that it’s not going to go away, and it’s going to haunt and torture the government,” he said.

This scandal is a two-pronged one that has seen senators taking advantage of their entitlements at the taxpayer’s expense, and Harper’s former chief of staff cutting a $90,000 cheque so Sen. Mike Duffy could repay his inappropriately-claimed allowances.

It’s that second prong that stops the government from being able to pass any blame for the scandal to the Senate and those administering it, Bliss explained.

“The government would love to just fluff it off onto the Senate,” he said. “Of course, the problem of what (former chief of staff) Nigel Wright did or did not do is central and pretty unusual in Canadian history.”

For more with Michael Bliss, watch the video above.

© Shaw Media, 2013

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