The Canadian Senate: Keep It, Reform It or Kill It?

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It has not been a great week and a half for the Upper Chamber. Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau was kicked out of his caucus following his arrest for assault. The NDP's Charlie Angus went after Conservative Senator Mike Duffy over allegations the Senator claimed living expenses he was not entitled to. An outside auditing firm is investigating those claims against Senator Duffy, as well as similar allegations against Senator Brazeau and Liberal Senator Mac Harb. And the rally call to reform, or even eliminate the Senate, is getting louder.



Panel: Ned Franks / Diane Francis / James Cowan

Stephen Harper: Obviously the situation with Senator Brazeau is terrible, it is extremely appalling and disappointing and we feel very let down but that should not obscure the fact that most people in the senate work very hard and take their job seriously.

NDP Charlie Angus: Mr. Speaker this Prime Minister promised to clean up Ottawa and he gave us Mike Duffy. Now did see the footage of him running out of that kitchen in Halifax like Senator Come from Away is on the lam. And it's because the good people of Cavendish are saying, what does Mike Duffy and Anne of Green Gables have in common, well they're both fictional residents of Prince Edward Island.

That was Stephen Harper after Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau was kicked out of the Tory caucus following his arrest for assault. Then we heard the NDP's Charlie Angus going after Conservative Senator Mike Duffy after allegations the Senator claimed living expense to which he was not entitled.

An outside auditing firm is investigating those claims against Senator Duffy, as well as similar allegations against Senator Brazeau and Liberal Senator Mac Harb.

It has not been a great week and a half for the Upper Chamber - and the rally call to reform -- or even eliminate the Senate -- is getting louder.

Here to weigh in, we were joined by Ned Franks, a Professor Emeritus at the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

Diane Francis is Editor at Large for The National Post. She was in our Toronto studio.

And James Cowan is the Liberal Leader in the Senate. He was in Ottawa.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal and Gord Westmacott.

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