08.29.2012 02:23 PM

From yet-to-be-published weekend column

…this segment, provided early, because this issue continues to follow a woman who is undeserving of the treatment she has received:

“…the Conservatives are in a very large glass house in this case. Over the years, I have personally witnessed plenty of Tory Parliamentarians staggering out of the Parliamentary restaurant, or their office, and troop to votes.

Over the years, plenty have participated in legislative duties while drunk, or stoned, or incapacitated in some way. By maligning a much-loved figure like Fairbairn, the Tories risk a spotlight being shined on the conduct of their own members. They won’t be happy about the outcome. At all.

The despicable treatment of Joyce Fairbairn will be remembered as one of the cruelest episodes of the mean-spirited Harper era.  All sides look bad in it.”


  1. deb says:

    im hoping to hear more about how corrupt the political process is…cons should not be exempt…lets hear it all!

  2. KP says:

    Oh, this is going to be so, so good.

  3. Dan F says:

    I wouldn’t normally bring it up, but if they really want to talk about incompetent Senators then lets talk about the illiterate that Harper appointed to the Senate.

  4. Kre8tv says:

    This is sadly becoming classic Ottawa politico behaviour: picking on someone not for any measurable, meaningful gain or to fight for a principle. No, they do this because they can.

  5. kevin says:

    Unless the Senator was propped up in the senate, unable to recognize her surroundings, for the sole purpose of not allowing a conservative appointment; then this isn’t a case of others inhumanely attacking a person, but rather a case of a party using inhumanely an incapacitated person for the gain of a party. Which would, of course, be despicable behavior worth commenting on. The problem isn’t with Fairbairn – that’s just sad. It’s with the party who used her.

  6. Tiger says:

    Okay, let’s make a distinction here:

    1. If the diagnosis this year was sudden, there was no harm done by allowing her to finish out the session, given that her presence tipped no votes — acting humanely in this case has no costs, and it’s terrible that it became a national story. (And it should not have in any case.)
    2. If on the other hand the story from Kay at the Post is true, that it was readily apparent from 2009 onwards that the senator was no longer able to serve, then the conduct of someone in her leadership smells very bad.

  7. walt says:

    Clearly the people who are freaking out – either for political purposes, or out of genuine concern that someone incompetent was voting – have never, ever had hands on experience with guiding someone with dementia out of their profession, home, or field of work. I’ve done it twice now, and you can’t, unless your an asshole of epic proportions, just yank them out of there. As for the 2009 thing, well, trust me, in retrospect lots of people can see that warning signs and symptoms were there, but at the time, you just want to wish the best for the person, attribute it to being slightly forget or momentarily confused, and not contemplate the awful possibility that your friend, colleague, or mom is losing their faculties.

    The ones that are using it for political ends are Fuckers. Cruel, mean-spirited capital-F Fuckers. I wish them a personal Kinsellian kind of vitriol. I mean that in a good way, Warren

  8. Jeff Mctavish says:

    Give it up Warren. If there have been drunk or stoned Conservative MP’s voting in the house, we would have been made well aware of it.

    A conservative MP closes his eyes in the house for 10 seconds and it was front page news across the country and still all over youtube.

    Seriously, a drunk Conservative voting in the house and it wasn’t in the news? Yeah, good one.

  9. walt says:

    I made it up just for you, good sir.

  10. Wendy Ross says:

    Well Warren:
    I have been caring for an Alzheimer’s patient for 4 years. Enough! You have know idea of what I speak off. Do you really think a Alzheimer patient is capable of voting on sensitive issues. Please explain to me how you think this is right. She should of been pensioned off as soon as they had the diagnoses. What is wrong here? I stopped taking my Aunt to vote after it was clear she could not manage and did not no the elect it . I am very concerned with you comments. I would like a explanation on your options.

    Wendy Ross

  11. rabbit says:

    “The despicable treatment of Joyce Fairbairn”

    What was this “despicable treatment”? Who did what and when?

  12. Steve T says:

    Let’s not divert the attention from where it should be – on the federal Liberals, for not addressing this in a way that would preserve Ms. Fairbairn’s dignity, when they first became aware of the issue.

    Unfortunately, as politically-incorrect as it may be to say, this is a highly ironic commentary on our Senate. The vast majority of Senators vote the party line like robots. Would it really matter, or would anyone really notice, if they were mentally incapacitated or not? Quite frankly, you could almost say the same thing of our Parliamentary system. Show up, rise to vote for your party’s issues like the trained lapdog that you are, and sit back down. On occasion, read prepared remarks from the party’s talking points. Not exactly democracy in its finest form.

  13. frazworth says:

    The fact that the people (see: Conservatives) are even making this an issue shows that there is a complete lack of respect for personal privacy within the depths of political party ranks. If this was Conservative member of any of the political bodies, the same people would be calling for respect during this difficult time – not trying to stand on the back of someone who has fallen to make a stump speech about senate reform or whatever people are trying to justify it as. And for those who argue, “Well, she should of resigned when it happened” do not understand the situation and/or are just extremely ignorant. To quote Bunk from the Wire, “Makes me sick….how far we done fell.” Turing someone’s illness into a political debate does that to me. Unreal.

  14. patrick Deberg says:

    Put things in perceptive.
    Had she been allowed a free vote she possibly would have voted with the conservatories.
    What does that tell you about them?

  15. Martin says:

    I met Joyce Fairbairn when I was a young liberal. She was great. This is a sad and undeserving way for her career to end. However, this is not the cons fault. Her family and friends, and fellow liberals, all knew what her state of mind has been for some time and they didn’t act. Warren, you are dead wrong on this one and Don Martin is right. She deserved better.

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