Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Should have the Liberals Allowed Senator Joyce Fairbairn Vote Last Session?


Senator Joyce Fairbairn was diagnosed with dementia way back in Feburary but the Liberal leadership aware of her condition allowed her to continue on with her duties in the Senate chamber. 

 OTTAWA — The Liberal leadership in the Senate allowed a veteran senator to vote on legislation and spend public dollars for four months after she was diagnosed with dementia and declared legally incompetent.
Sen. Joyce Fairbairn regularly attended Senate sittings and voted along party lines before the Upper Chamber rose for the summer at the end of June.
Fairbairn was diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type by her geriatric psychiatrist in February, according to a letter sent to Senate officials by her niece, Patricia McCullagh.

I feel for the Senator and all people who suffer from this horrible debilitating disease but should have the Liberals allowed her participate in the Senate particularly voting on important bills knowing that she was diagnosed as "legally incompetent"?  

I know she's a lovely lady and it's not her fault but why would the Liberals let her work? Her votes didn't make a difference anyway, as the Conservatives have a healthy majority in the Senate.

I'm surprised actually  that the Senate has never dealt with anything like this before.

It's sad in any case and I wish the Senator and her loved ones all the best even though she's a Liberal. Dementia has no political leanings! 

Update :     
Nice try Warren  from Blue Like You

Warren Kinsella plays politics on the back of this unfortunate circumstance.  (h/t) BC Blue


  1. Clearly, no.

    It is a disservice to those suffering and to loved ones who care for those afflicted with dimentia.

    It was at best a terrible oversight. An apology is in order.

  2. No,she shouldn't have been allowed to vote or remain in the Senate, but I'm not going to bash this unfortunate lady. The Liberal caucus is the guilty party,as they should have advised her to step aside. Maybe they did not do so out of compassion.

    With the large Conservative majority in the Senate, her vote could not have been of great importance anyway, as you stated.

    My 92 year old Mother is suffering the initial stages of dementia,has good days and bad,so I can sympathise with the Senator. This is an issue that can be allowed to "just fade away".

    In future,we can hope the caucuses of all Parties will be a bit more astute.

  3. a debate worth having - what is NOT debatable is the idiotic reaction of moronic butt-kickers who would use this unfortunate woman's plight for partisan political purposes

  4. The Liberals didn't want to vacate her seat. It's that simple. Scum.

  5. No - this smacks of crass politically maneuvering on the part of the Liberals. Unbelieveable!!! Who has "power of attorney", that is the question that should be asked.

  6. old white guy says...... who cares they are all demented.

  7. Apparently the power of attorney is held by her niece and a senior Liberal senator, so there is no question the Liberals knew of her condition. Further, according to the story, Ms Fairburn has required 24/7 help for the past 18 months, so her condition obviously predates the time her doctor finally certified her as mentally unfit.

    This is a sad story, but I agree with fernstalbert. Even now, Ms Fairburn is not resigning the Senate, merely going on long-term sick leave. Were it the Conservatives trying to do this, the outrage would be palpable. As it is, Alberta now has even less representation in the Senate, and there is seemingly no way to rectify the situation.


  8. Were it the Conservatives trying to do this, the outrage would be palpable.

    No doubt. The media party would be on this like a dog with a bone. The lefty experts would be called in to comment on how the CPC senator should just step aside and how bad the Conservatives are etc. The hardy boys (Stephen Mahr and Glen Macgregor) would be writing a hundred articles on it.


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