As discussed here many times, good governance is characterized by three key factors: accountability; oversight; and transparency. Currently, at the federal level, we are lacking in all three. In the 19th century, the Senate was established to protect the regions (in particular the Maritimes but later the West and eventually Quebec) from abuses of power by a majority party in the House of Commons that might draw its electoral strength from elsewhere. Its job was to provide effective oversight of legislation originating in the Commons, giving it "sober" reflection away from the perceived extremes of partisan politics. For all of its faults, over the past 146 years it has played its part in modifying or stopping poorly conceived or inadequately framed bills before they became the law of the land. However, when the Senate merely becomes an extension of the party in power in the Commons, it can no longer play its intended role. There can be no "sober second thought" when the Senate is being whipped along party lines to rubber stamp the decisions of the Executive.
Having said that, the House of Commons is no better. Over 165 years after we achieved "responsible government" in which the executive council (Cabinet) became responsible to the legislative assembly (House of Commons), it appears that our parliamentarians can no longer hold the government to account. We have seen debate and question period devolve into trading off "talking points" and parliamentarians barking like trained seals at every perceived point scored. We have seen governments mislead or "under-inform" Parliament about military expenditures, questionable contracts and payments, and treatment of prisoners of war. We have seen committees disappear "in camera" to prevent an embarrassing "facts" from being made public. And, we have seen successive governments - regardless of their political stripes - depend upon denial and stonewalling to manage issues rather than openness and transparency. Finally, built-in safeguards for accountability like the Privacy Commissioner, or the Parliamentary Budget Officer are fought against tooth and nail to limit or totally stymie any transparent disclosure of expenditures, budget projections or proposed service cuts.
Even within Parliament's own hallowed halls, the current Senate crisis is basically a product of a faulty or non-existent system for individual oversight. Both the Senate and the House have spent decades validating their own expenses behind closed doors. This lack of an arms-length approval process for the expenses of MPs and Senators has morphed into a national embarrassment.
Let's be clear, the current sorry state of governance is not merely a product of the current government - although they have raised it to a fine art - it is a product of the slow attrition over decades of the power of individual MPs and Senators, the concentration of influence and information in the hands of a small (an often unelected) group of advisors and insiders, and the gradual disengagement of the public in the electoral and governing processes.
The current governance crisis in Canada is an abject lesson for independent schools and not-for-profits everywhere. You ignore oversight, accountability and transparency at your peril! In most schools that I know, if the above situation was allowed to develop you would see the Head fired and the Board thrown out by some very irate parents. Either that, or they would quietly go out of business!