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“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Friday, April 25, 2014

Global Pinoys: Is the Philippine Senate The Worst Senate in the World?

"Let us all be men and women worthy of being called “Honorable Senators."
Juan Ponce Enrile
Canadian Senate Chamber
The Canadian Senate Expenses Scandal
The Canadian Senate expenses scandal is an ongoing political scandal concerning the expense claims of certain Canadian senators which began in late 2012. 
Senators Mike Duffy, Mac Harb, Pamela Wallin, and Patrick Brazeau claimed travel and housing expenses from the Senate for which they were not eligible. As a result, the Auditor General of Canada began investigating the expense claims of the entire Senate. Duffy, Wallin, and Harb eventually repaid the ineligible amount. Harb retired a few months into the scandal, and in November 2013, Duffy, Wallin, and Brazeau were suspended from the Senate without pay. The affair has attracted much public attention, with as many as 73% of Canadians following it closely.

On March 22, 2013, Brazeau was expelled from the Conservative caucus over sexual assault allegations.

A June 2013 poll revealed that in the wake of the controversy, 49% of Canadians wanted to reform the Senate, 41% wanted to see it abolished, 6% wanted to keep it as it was, and 4% were unsure. From Wikipedia
The United States Senate
United States Senate History :Expulsion 

Article I, Section 5, of the United States Constitution provides that "Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member."
Since 1789, the Senate has expelled only fifteen of its entire membership. Of that number, fourteen were charged with support of the Confederacy during the Civil War. In several other cases, the Senate considered expulsion proceedings but either found the member not guilty or failed to act before the member left office. In those cases, corruption was the primary cause of complaint.
In the entire course of the Senate's history, only four members have been convicted of crimes. They were: Joseph R. Burton (1905), John Hipple Mitchell (1905), Truman H. Newberry (1920), and Harrison Williams (1981). Newberry's conviction was later overturned. Mitchell died. Burton, Newberry, and Williams resigned before the Senate could act on their expulsion.
United States Senate Expulsion Cases
Date: 1797
Member: William Blount (R-TN)
Charge: Anti-Spanish conspiracy; treason
Result: Expelled
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Date: 1808
Member: John Smith (R-OH)
Charge: Disloyalty/Treason
Result: Not Expelled
Note: Expulsion failed 19 to 10--less than the necessary two-thirds majority. At request of the Ohio legislature, Smith resigned two weeks after the vote. (His counsel was Francis Scott Key.)
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Date: 1861
Member: James M. Mason (D-VA)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Expelled
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Date: 1861
Member: Robert M.T. Hunter (D-VA)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Expelled
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Date: 1861
Member: Thomas L. Clingman (D-NC)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Expelled
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Date: 1861
Member: Thomas Bragg (D-NC)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Expelled
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Date: 1861
Member: James Chesnut, Jr. (D-SC)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Expelled
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Date: 1861
Member: Alfred O.P. Nicholson (D-TN)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Expelled
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Date: 1861
Member: William K. Sebastian (D-AR)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Expelled
Note: On March 3, 1877, the Senate reversed its decision to expel Sebastian. Because Sebastian had died in 1865, his children were paid an amount equal to his Senate salary between the time of his expulsion and the date of his death.
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Date: 1861
Member: Charles B. Mitchel (D-AR)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Expelled
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Date: 1861
Member: John Hemphill (D-TX)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Expelled
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Date: 1861
Member: Louis T. Wigfall (D-TX)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Expelled
Note: In March 1861, the Senate took no action on an initial resolution expelling Wigfall because he represented a state that had seceded from the Union. Three months later, on July 10, 1861, he was expelled for supporting the Confederacy.
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Date: 1861
Member: John C. Breckinridge (D-KY)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Expelled
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Date: 1862
Member: Lazarus W. Powell (D-KY)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Not Expelled
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Date: 1862
Member: Trusten Polk (D-MO)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Expelled
----------------------------------
Date: 1862
Member: Waldo P. Johnson (D-MO)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result: Expelled
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Date: 1862
Member: Jesse D. Bright (D-IN)
Charge: Support for Confederate rebellion
Result:  Expelled
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Date: 1862
Member: James F. Simmons (R-RI)
Charge: Corruption
Result: Resigned
Note: On July 14, 1862, the Judiciary Committee reported that the charges against Simmons were essentially correct. The Senate adjourned three days later, and Simmons resigned on September 5 before the Senate could take action.
----------------------------------
Date: 1873
Member: James W. Patterson (R-NH)
Charge: Corruption
Result: Term Expired
Note: A Senate select committee recommended expulsion on February 27. On March 1, a Republican caucus decided that there was insufficient time remaining in the session to deliberate the matter. Patterson's term expired March 3, and no further action was taken.
----------------------------------
Date: 1893
Member: William N. Roach (D-ND)
Charge: Embezzlement
Result: Not Expelled
Note: After extensive deliberation, the Senate took no action, assuming that it lacked jurisdiction over members' behavior before their election to the Senate. The alleged embezzlement had occurred 13 years earlier.
----------------------------------
Date: 1906
Member: Joseph R. Burton (R-KS)
Charge: Corruption
Result: Resigned
Note: Burton was indicted and convicted of receiving compensation for intervening with a federal agency. When the Supreme Court upheld his conviction, he resigned rather than face expulsion.
----------------------------------
Date: 1907
Member: Reed Smoot (R-UT)
Charge: Mormonism
Result: Not Expelled
Note: After an investigation spanning two years, the Committee on Privileges and Elections reported that Smoot was not entitled to his seat because he was a leader in a religion that advocated polygamy and a union of church and state, contrary to the U.S. Constitution. By a vote of 27 to 43, however, the Senate failed to expel him, finding that he satisfied the constitutional requirements for serving as a senator.
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Date: 1919
Member: Robert M. La Follette (R-WI)
Charge: Disloyalty
Result: Not Expelled
Note: The Committee on Privileges and Elections recommended that the Senate take no action as the speech in question (a 1917 speech opposing U.S. entry into World War I) did not warrant it. The Senate agreed 50 to 21.
----------------------------------
Date: 1922
Member: Truman H. Newberry (R-MI)
Charge: Election fraud
Result: Resigned
Note: On March 20, 1920, Newberry was convicted on charges of spending $3,750 to secure his Senate election. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned this decision (May 2, 1921) on the grounds that the U.S. Senate exceeded its powers in attempting to regulate primary elections. By a vote of 46 to 41 (January 12, 1922), the Senate declared Newberry to have been duly elected in 1918. On November 18--two days before the start of the 3rd session of the 67th Congress--Newberry resigned as certain members resumed their efforts to unseat him.
----------------------------------
Date: 1924
Member: Burton K. Wheeler (D-MT)
Charge: Conflict of interest
Result: Not Expelled
Note: Wheeler was indicted for serving while a senator in causes in which the U.S. was a party. A Senate committee, however, found that his dealings related to litigation before state courts and that he received no compensation for any service before federal departments. The Senate exonerated him by a vote of 56 to 5.
----------------------------------
Date: 1934
Member: John H. Overton (D-LA)
Charge: Election fraud
Result: No Senate action
Note: The Committee on Privileges and Elections concluded that the charges and evidence were insufficient to warrant further consideration.
----------------------------------
Date: 1934
Member: Huey P. Long (D-LA)
Charge: Election fraud
Result: No Senate action
Note: The Privileges and Elections Committee considered this case in conjunction with that against Senator Overton (see Note 13) and reached the same conclusion.
----------------------------------
Date: 1942
Member: William Langer (R-ND)
Charge: Corruption
Result: Not Expelled
Note: Recommending that this case was properly one of exclusion, not expulsion, the Committee on Privileges and Elections declared Langer guilty of moral turpitude and voted, 13 to 2, to deny him his seat. The Senate disagreed, 52 to 30, arguing that the evidence was hearsay and inconclusive. Langer retained his seat.
----------------------------------
Date: 1982
Member: Harrison A. Williams, Jr. (D-NJ)
Charge: Corruption
Result: Resigned
Note: The Committee on Ethics recommended that Williams be expelled because of his "ethically repugnant" conduct in the Abscam scandal, for which he was convicted of conspiracy, bribery, and conflict of interest. Prior to a Senate vote on his expulsion, Williams resigned on March 11, 1982.
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Date: 1995
Member: Robert W. Packwood (R-OR)
Charge: Sexual misconduct and abuse of power
Result: Resigned
Note: The Committee on Ethics recommended that Packwood be expelled for abuse of his power as a senator "by repeatedly committing sexual misconduct" and "by engaging in a deliberate ... plan to enhance his personal financial position" by seeking favors "from persons who had a particular interest in legislation or issues" that he could influence, as well as for seeking "to obstruct and impede the committee's inquiries by withholding, altering, and destroying relevant evidence." On September 7, 1995, the day after the committee issued its recommendation, Packwood announced his resignation without specifying an effective date. On September 8, he indicated that he would resign effective October 1, 1995.
Note: click/read The U.S. Senate History on Expulsion and Censure