Giant Mike Duffy-shaped balloon kicks off Senate referendum campaign

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OTTAWA - It's part Goodyear Blimp and part Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, all rolled into one enormously inflatable symbol of Senate excess.

Meet Mike Duffy — in balloon form.

The beleaguered senator from Prince Edward Island was rendered as a two-and-a-half-storey blow-up doll for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation's campaign to hold a referendum on the fate of the upper chamber.

Spokesman Gregory Thomas was clad as a carnival barker — complete with cane and flat-top hat — as the big Duffy balloon lurched to life by the shores of the Ottawa River.

Thomas says Canadian voters ought to have a chance to decide whether the Senate should be reformed or abolished altogether during the next federal election.

Duffy is being investigated by the Mounties over his improperly claimed Senate expenses.

Geographic location: OTTAWA, Prince Edward Island, Ottawa River

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