With three Senators, one appointed a Liberal and two appointed as Conservatives, under investigation, the issue of Senate reform is certainly upon the minds of many Canadians. This debate has been going on for almost as long as the country has been going on for and with no real prospect for any real solution.
To my mind, it is simply not acceptable that Mac Harb, Pamela Wallen, and the worst of the lot, Mike Duffy just leave their respective caucuses. Rather, they should leave public life completely. Well, or at least get a job on a local radio station and leave the Senate without pay. While there is no clear method of doing this, as this article discusses, there is at least one possibility.
As Political Scientist, Ned Franks told the CBC, the issue of whether or not the Senate can remove a sitting Senator from the red chamber is still an unresolved question unless the Senator has been found to have committed a criminal act.
If the Senate wants to have any legitimacy in the eyes of Canadians, they should immediately present a motion to test the waters on this. It might have to go all the way up to the supreme court, and that could take several years, but as the Senate is unlikely to be abolished any time soon, we might as well do what we can now.
Even if a ruling were to bar the Senate from removing sitting Senators, the Senate can at least remove the Senator's pay, pension and expenses. That would be a start.