The fate of three disgraced, former Conservative senators is all but sealed.
The Harper government used its majority muscle in the Senate to shut down debate on the proposed suspensions of Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau.
That paves the way for a final vote today on a motion that would strip the trio of their pay, privileges and Senate resources, while allowing them to continue being covered by the chamber's health, dental and life insurance plans. The suspensions would be for the duration of the parliamentary session, which could last for two years.
The closure motion passed easily by a vote of 51-34, with five Conservative senators breaking ranks to defy Prime Minister Stephen Harper's insistence that the three erstwhile caucus colleagues (whom he appointed and once feted as stars) should be booted off the public payroll as quickly as possible.
Brazeau went down swinging, taking shots the Prime Minister's Office, Senate leadership and the media in what could be his last appearance in the upper chamber.
In a sometime emotional speech, Brazeau pointed out that an independent audit found he owed nothing but the senate's internal committee disagreed pressured him to repay tens of thousands of dollars. He called the Senate attempt to suspend him a ``farce'' and a ``gong show,'' and painted himself as the victim of drive-by smears.