Nick Sibbeston blames ‘party politics’ for low attendance
Northwest Territories Senator Nick Sibbeston is responding to questions about his attendance record.
According to recent numbers put out by the New Democratic Party, Sibbeston has missed more votes than any other senator, by a large margin.
The report found that Sibbeston missed 51 out of 70 votes during the most recent parliament.
The second worst attender missed 44 votes. That was Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau.
Sibbeston says he finds all the bickering in the Senate off-putting.
He says the aggressive party politics have kept him from attending political meetings in the capital (to hear the full interview, click the link on the top left).
“Ottawa is all about political parties, political stances and so forth, based on political ideologies and so forth, and my point is that coming from the North, I’m not steeped with that and I don't necessarily buy into that.”
Sibbeston hasn’t always been averse to the rougher side of politics.
In 1981, he was thrown out of the N.W.T. legislature after he hurled a coffee cup at the speaker of the House, Peter Fraser, during a heated exchange.
The NDP report also calculated the cost per vote that Sibbeston did make. By dividing his salary and expenses by the 19 votes he was present for, they estimate that each vote Sibbeston cast cost taxpayers $64,827.21.
Sibbeston says he`s happy with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's decision to expel every liberal Senator from caucus, and forcing them to sit as independents.
He says he comes from the North, where there is no party system, and it works just fine.
Sibbeston was appointed to the Senate on the recommendation of Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien in 1999.
Originally from Fort Simpson, he served in the N.W.T. legislature from 1979 to 1991 and served as premier from 1985 to 1987.