05.04.2010 08:59 AM


Unfortunately, the only way to remove a Senator is to force him or her to resign. So, in 1998, Senator Andrew Thompson resigned after Prime Minister Jean Chretien removed him from the Liberal caucus. (Between 1990 and 1997, he’d attended only fourteen Senate meetings.) The “Tequila Senator,” you may recall, faxed his resignation from his villa in Mexico. Good riddance.

Nancy Ruth, the Conservative Senator who has told NGO’s to “shut the fuck up,” is also a disgrace. Her leader, the Conservative Prime Minister, must kick her out of caucus – or, failing that, explain why he won’t.

Ruth, meanwhile, should resign.


  1. Paul R. Martin says:

    Wasn’t Nancy Ruth appointed to the Senate by Mr. Dithers? I believe that she went in as a “Progressive Conservative” in a little bit of Liberal mischief making.

    • Ted says:

      Unlike Harper, the Liberals under Martin appointed non-Liberals including Ruth and Hugh Segal.

      • Jason Hickman says:

        … After, of course, the Liberals had a substantial majority in the Senate already. Chretien was careful to appoint 72 Liberals out of the 75 he appointed. It was a little easier for Martin to be “generous”.

        (And while I was glad to see Hugh S go in, Nancy R seems to be something of an, um, mixed blessing today.)

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Don’t forget AndrĂ©e Champagne who upon informing the powers that be that she would be sitting as a Conservative, got the political equivalent of a yawn heading right back at her.

  2. Gareth Hitchings says:

    I’ll be honest I’m a bit confused on this one. Why does everyone seem to think she is Harper’s responsibility? It was Paul Martin that appointed her was it not? I mean, sure she might be a Conservative ideologically, but if there’s an idiot in the Senate surely fault lies with whomever put them there.

    • Woody says:

      I wouldn’t say that you are confused. Actually, you are doing just what any Reformatory would do and that is to blame the Liberals for anything, regardless of how remote and tenuous the connection may be. As someone here recently posted, this is typical DefCon (Defend Conservatives) level 5 or 6 = Blame the Liberals. Good for you.

    • James Bow says:

      I believe she is caucusing with the Conservatives at the moment.

  3. Paul R. Martin says:

    Remind me again. Who was it who said “fuddle duddle”?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Trudeau didn’t actually say anything. He apparently mouthed something – but nobody was ever really clear on it — and nothing showed up on a recording; although other voices did.

  4. Reality.Bites says:

    Let’s be clear on one thing at least. At issue is not the “fuck.” It’s the “shut up.”

    She is, depending on one’s interpretation, either threatening or warning pro-choice activists that if they don’t remain silent, Harper will hurt their cause.

    If that’s not true, then she should indeed resign. If it’s an accurate interpretation of Harper’s intentions, then he should.

    • Ted says:

      She even said that their reproductive rights may be in jeopardy here in Canada if they push Harper too hard.

      In other words, Mr. Angry is also Mr. Vengeful and she is “helpfully” trying to warn them what he is really like.

  5. Herman Thind says:

    There’s NOTHING wrong with her language… It’s what she said and WHOM she said it to. There are two ways to look at this: She really IS a progressive, and was warning the international groups for women that they need to worry about Harper’s religious extremism on this matter; OR, she is just telling them to “shut the fuck up” so they don’t piss on her party’s parade.

    No need for her to resign. Just to explain her words, and what she meant. If Harper wants to kick her out of caucus, its for tipping his already “laid out clearly” hand, on where he stands on safe abortion access, and womens’ RIGHT to choose.

  6. crf says:

    So Herman, you want her sober second thoughts?

    I think both her first and second thoughts ought to be sober. Clearly, that’s not how she operates.

  7. Nick says:

    Funnily enough I think that her comments were not an attack on the aid groups. I think she was encouraging them to be strategic. She knows that it is difficult to precisely monitor funding from one country, when G8/G20 initiatives are underway. She knows that the rest of the G8 support funding for women’s reproductive health as a means of helping poor women. This whole issue is fluff on Harper’s part to raise money for conservative coffers and fire up the base.

  8. Woody says:

    Why would Harper kick Ruth out? He doesn’t seem to mind his minions using low-brow language. See Pipsqueak Pete Poilievre in committee saying “Fuck you guys.”


  9. Paul D. says:

    One way to take this is that she is subtly warning the relevant groups that Harper is merely pandering to his blue-haired constituents and will pony up with the cash, as long as they don’t get his infamously sensitive backbone up and prompt him to react purely out of spite. From what I’ve read of this Ruth, she is more small-l liberal than Harper likes. If the above interpretation is correct, it shows – once agan – what a miserable prick we have for a PM. If I had my druthers on who is to leave – Ruth or the cold-eyed fish – it would be the latter.

    • Sandra says:

      I wonder if there’s a method in her madness – perhaps she did it on purpose to get the attention. Everyone is talking about it – and now people know that if you don’t agree with Mr. Dictator you will be punished.

  10. allegra fortissima says:

    My recommendation for Nancy: become a fan of Facebook’s “Intelligent, classy, well-educated women who say “F*ck” a lot” page. They are still accepting members…

  11. JH says:

    C’mon Warren – that’s unfair and you know it. She is a blunt talking lady, a feminist and a lesbian who was trying to advise these folks. Even the lady Liberal MP in attendance (forget her name) in her initial comments was quite understanding of what was being said and why. She only changed when the war room or whatever got to her. I expect better of you Warrne in situations like this.

  12. I don’t know. I think the real problem is that Harper has probably told caucus he’ll push harder if more people complain. Perhaps this is a case of a scared caucus member speaking out of fear.

  13. A says:

    Nancy Ruth isn’t the disgrace – it’s the government that she’s trying to defend. I don’t think the Tories should kick Ruth out of caucus – I think she should give a good hard think about why the hell she’s supporting a government that stands against everything she believes in and resign.

  14. Robbie says:

    PMO Pilot to bombardier, PMO pilot to bombardier: Bombs away, I repeat Bombs away, We are in a target rich enviroment.

  15. James Bow says:

    There’s a bit more here than just a senator dropping the f-bomb, Warren. Take a little note of what she actually said. She was warning the NGOs to “shut the f— up” because she believed or feared or whathaveyou that Harper might take things further on the abortion issue if they complained. She was talking about backlashes and political footballs.

    I can easily see Harper throwing Ruth out of the Conservative caucus because the picture she’s painting of Harper isn’t exactly complimentary. So another question to press Harper on is whether or not Ruth’s assessment of his approach to abortion is true. Is there to be a political backlash by the PMO against NGOs that campaign for freer access to abortion services, at home and abroad?

  16. JH says:

    James Bow is right Warren – you’re wrong this time!

  17. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Anyone who thinks she will resign needs a reality check. Anyone who thinks this Prime Minister will expel her from caucus better think again. Harper is already vulnerable on abortion funding (or more precisely, lack thereof) in the third world. He is fishing for kinks and doubts and they are coming up to the surface, in spades… Lucky him.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    It was intimidation, clear as a bell. There is no other way to take it.
    The message is, that if you don’t stop pushing for abortion rights in Africa, then family planning and abortion rights in Canada may be cut back; and Canadian women could lose the right to a medical abortion. Move us back 50 years or so years. Maybe the vote will be next, or maybe we’ll have to be married to vote. That sort of thing; women having to get permission from their husbands in order to get a bank loan.

    Harper is a bully, but these days he gets other people to do his bullying for him. He used to do it in person when Dion was leader. Most bullies are cowards, and he backed off the personal bullying when Ignatieff came along.

    Now he’s getting a lesbian? and feminist? to do his bullying for him – with the fond hope that we’ll think the messenger will make it all okay.

    As usual – he thinks we’re stupid. Knowing what a control freak Harper is – this was probably choreographed to the finest detail

  19. Elizabeth says:

    He’s already attacking abortion rights through the back door, in Canada.

    The bill that would make it illegal for anyone to coerce a woman into having an abortion; and
    the bill?? or whatever move it was to make it illegal to harm an embryo.

    Where do you think those are leading?

  20. Liz says:

    Remember – this was the Senator that wanted the words to the anthem changed too!

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