Friday, 24 March 2017

Don Meredith and Another Senate Scandal!

I have been hearing a lot of discussion regarding newly disgraced Senator Don Meredith and his scandal revolving around sexual relations with a teenager. It seems like the Senate in general cannot go too far without some form of scandal either following it or outright being created by it.

Senator Meredith has created a lot of discussion in the media lately, not simply because of the act he has committed, but also because of the colour of his skin. Being a visibly black man in a position of power, many people feel that calls to dismiss the Senator or have him resign are actually a sign of the systemic racism still prevalent in our society.

Senator Don Meredith- Canadian Ally Photo

While I do agree that elements of systemic racism still do exist in many positions of power, I have to disagree with the comparison being used regarding Mr. Meredith. This is mainly because of the nature of the incident and also the character that Don Meredith represents in his position in the Senate.

For those unaware, Don Meredith is not only a member of the Canadian Senate, but also an ordained minister that works with the GTA Faith Alliance, which ironically targets youth crime. This makes the incident regarding the teenage girl a double whammy, as we now have an individual who supposedly uses faith to guide youth, while also holding membership to an appointed position that represents Canadians.

To have used his power over this girl in such a way, truly admits a violation in the ethics that a minister and Senator should adhere too.

To understand this issue without looking at race, one must not only question the actions of the Canadian Senate, but also reflect on what the Senate means to Canada?

We have a body of individuals, who do not become elected in their position, they do not have to campaign or win over the hearts and minds of individuals within their respective riding's. Instead, these individuals are appointed by the government to represent Canadians and ensure a fair process is adhered to regarding the passing of legislation.

Such a position as a result should not be taken lightly, as it requires an individual to responsibly act on behalf of Canadians, while also being a role model to those same Canadians.

In recent years, the Senate has unfortunately had a lot of negative press regarding mishandling of different affairs within it. Up until now, many of those accused have been relinquished of their charges and have either paid back any errors in their dealings or have walked away. Mind you, many of these incidents have revolved around the handling of money ( Cue the Mike Duffy Bill). Where Don Meredith differs is that he has had a sexual relationship with consent from the other partner, who happened to be 16 when it all began.

So, the question remains...Can we sweep this type of activity under the rug and continue business as usual, or does the fact that a female youth was involved make the act unforgivable?

A View of the Canadian Senate

The NDP recently campaigned on the notion of dissolving the Senate, as many Canadians have lost faith in it due to recent scandals. Both the Liberals and Conservatives have dismissed this idea as they have promised reform, but have usually just kept things the same, with little to no changes made.

Regarding Don Meredith's case however, will Canadians sit by idly going forward? Can we truly say that the Senate has lived up to it's end of the bargain and should continue with a business as usual attitude?

That is the million dollar question moving forward, as our current government and any incoming future governments must decide their own #PoliticalRoadMap in order to establish the direction of their governance.

What do you think? Have you heard of this scandal in the news? Do you believe any action regarding a youth should be handled with no prejudice?

Leave a comment below and discuss how this affects your perception of the Canadian Senate.

Until Next Time! 

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