A recent spate of retirements from the Senate of Canada has left vacancies meaning the search is on for replacements. I know the perfect replacement candidate – me!
Any Canadian can apply to be considered for one of several Senate vacancies, and I am about as “any Canadian” as you can get. So I applied.
Now I know what readers are thinking – why would a middle-aged journalist in a small town want to serve in the Senate? Let me answer that question with a question – why not me? I check all the boxes for what the head of state looks for in a Senator.
I have had a varied and diverse career from journalism to IT. It is a well-established fact that private sector journalism is the pathway to a Senate seat, just like working for the CBC is the pathway to being appointed Governor General.
I meet the unwritten minimum requirement of having unsuccessfully run for office two times. Unsuccessful political candidates are prime targets for plum patronage appointments by any government.
Rarely do I drink alcohol anymore, which makes me a perfect fit for the chamber of sober second thought.
Reading is one of my favourite things to do, and there is a lot of reading involved with being a Canadian Senator. I think about issues all the time, again something that fits with the role of a senator.
Senators are largely out of the public eye, and my introverted side is quite happy with that. I have the face for radio and the voice for print, so this works great for me (and everyone else too).
I have no current party affiliation, and over the years have been known to burn my party membership cards in protest. Senators are “independently” appointed now so that fits.
Unlike some senators, I will not attract scandals or other negative attention to the historic chamber. Senators make $150,000 per year plus benefits. Everyone has their price and for that kind of hush money, I’ll gladly keep my big yap shut.
As a senator, I will bring my unique fashion sense to the Canadian Senate. Who better to rock a Hawaiian Shirt in the stoic upper chamber of Canadian governance?
I like trains, and the Senate is currently in its “temporary” location, a former train station. Given the current speed of the renovation to Parliament Hill, I expect I will spend my entire 30 year term in office at the old train station, and that is fine by me.
Applying for the Senator job was easy: fill out a form; attach my resume; and agree to a background check. The only difficult part was attaining three reference letters. At first I thought of talking to friends and family who would speak glowingly of my accomplishments, volunteerism, and what I would bring to the Senate. Instead I opted to contact people who didn’t like me for doing my job. I figure it is a win-win situation if appointed to the Senate – I receive a plum patronage appointment for the next 30 years; and those individuals wouldn’t have to worry about me reporting on them in print ever again if they did something wrong. Like I said, win-win.
Believe it or not, this is not the first time I applied for the job of Canadian Senator. In 2008, I applied and was rejected by then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He chose Mike Duffy over me. That worked out really well for Harper. I still have the nice rejection letter from the Prime Minister. A missed opportunity for that Prime Minister, but not for our current one.
The one thing that works against me is this region already had a recent Senate appointment. But we could carpool and that helps the environment. I’ll bring the Tesla, since as Senator I could afford to buy one.
Yes, Senator Blancher has a nice ring to it.
Of course, it is facetious and flippant of me to think I will be considered for the job. Their loss I guess.
Even with a transparent patronage appointment process, the fact remains that one person ultimately gets to choose who fills a critical role in government and can potentially stack the deck in his/her/their favour.
There are many great and accomplished people in the Canadian Senate, and the Senate has an important role in our democracy. But after 155 years as an independent country, I think Canada is mature enough to elect our senators now.